Since the return of mask mandates in Oregon, many Pacific University students have wondered whether more restrictions will be implemented. Pacific plans to require vaccinations for guests on campus during events or visits. However, Sarah Phillips, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assures that guest policies have been loosened since last year.
“We’re starting to roll out… various activities, saying ‘Hey we’re a vaccinated campus, we expect you to be vaccinated,’” Phillips stated.
Pacific staff and faculty will not be checking guests’ vaccine cards on campus, but they do plan to limit exposure by creating a standard for campus. Now, students are allowed to visit other dormitories, go home and come back without COVID-19 tests, and host overnight guests. Hosts will have to confirm that all guests are vaccinated and fill out the overnight guest registration form.
Students also no longer have dedicated “bubbles,” with which they’re allowed to take their masks off around or spend time.
“We’re trying to have students have as much of a normal year as they can,” Phillips said.
Lindsey Blem, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, said that when a student breaks these few remaining rules, the Office of Student Conduct tries to start in an educational place, rather than reprimanding students.
“[We] clarify ‘Do people know what these expectations are?’ ‘Is this a misunderstanding?’” Blem explained. “We don’t have a ‘three strikes, you’re out’ policy.”
Phillips and Blem hope the current COVID-19 Delta variant spike will decline soon. If it doesn’t, Pacific may see more changes in policies to protect its community.
“Something to know structurally about how decisions like this are made is that it really comes from the COVID Task Force,” Blem said.
Guest policies could become more strict and events could be postponed or canceled; it all depends on whether the COVID pandemic continues to evolve.
Students can find more information about guest policies on the posters located on the back of most dorm doors or check the Pacific Undergraduate Student Newsletter for weekly updates. — Grace Alexandria