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Georgia College moves up ‘return to normal’

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After having to adjust for over a year, Georgia College has begun its transition back to normal.

In April, Shawn Brooks, Vice President of Student Affairs, shared with students via email that the campus anticipated a return to normal by Fall of 2021. Normal would include a full slate of programming and events for students and the Milledgeville community.

However, a return to normal came earlier than many people expected, after the University System of Georgia’s announcement moving for colleges and universities to move forward with events without the requirement to wear a mask or remain physically distant effective immediately.

In August, classes will be back in full swing, and students will not be required to wear a mask when on campus or to use any of the facilities. The decision was made after the CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated persons.

“We are preparing to return to a normal classroom set up this fall semester,” said Brittiny Johnson, Director of Public Affairs for the college.

“However, if need be, we also are prepared to make changes to ensure the safety of our campus community,” she said.

More than just classroom activities will be returning to normal. “While our plans will be built to pivot as changes arise, we anticipate a return to normal meaning easing restrictions on the numbers of participants who can attend programs, plans to offer comprehensive Bobcat Nights evening and weekend programs, resumption of our normal intramural sports, and wellness center operations and allowing group travel,” said Shawn Brooks via email to students.

“Campus traditions like Bobcat Marketplace, GC Gives Day, Midnight Breakfast, and Dance Marathon will resume, and we invite you to take full advantage of them,” Brooks said.

At the moment, the University System of Georgia has not made any announcement on whether or not they will require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus. In an email sent to Georgia College students, faculty and staff, university president Steve Dorman” strongly encouraged” anyone who has not yet received vaccination to do so “soon as possible.”

He later went on to say, “Adherence to this updated guidance (CDC guidance) is based on personal responsibility.”

Georgia College is working to ease the concerns of anyone worried about returning in the fall.

“Throughout the summer, we will be preparing our facilities for this as we look forward to having students back on campus in August,” Johnson said.

Upcoming sophomores who have not been allowed to enjoy the whole college experience have not been forgotten. The university shared that upcoming sophomores will be honored in a weekend celebration after classes resume in August.