June 15, 2024

SCCC Campus to Reopen July 7

Seward County Community College

LIBERAL, Kan.  —  Seward County Community College will reopen to the public beginning Tuesday, July 7, college administration announced this week. Following nearly four months of facilities closure, SCCC will welcome people to campus, including Wellness Center and library patrons, employees, and students who need to complete spring lab sessions, consult advisors, or enroll for fall classes.

“As we announced earlier, our summer class sessions continue in emergency remote instruction mode,” said Dean of Instruction Luke Dowell. Students who have yet to finish hands-on lab work for spring semester “incomplete” grades should reach out to their individual instructors to schedule work sessions. 

Monday’s announcement by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly that she will sign an Executive Order requiring that most Kansans in a public space must wear a mask, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, does not alter SCCC’s plans, said SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska. 

“Our executive team had already chosen to recommend the use of masks on campus, asking that our SCCC family show respect for others,” he said. “The governor’s order underscores the importance of our own campus values — valuing others, and acting with integrity.”  

Under the order, the Governor’s news release noted, Kansans must wear masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and “in any situation in which social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, including outside.” Kelly’s executive order will be released Thursday, and will provide specific guidance regarding under what circumstances masks must be worn.

SCCC will not implement temperature screening for students or team members, although the campus cafeteria service, Great Western Dining, has implemented screening for its employees. The cafeteria has also made adjustments to adhere to social distancing guidelines, both for the food service line and in the dining areas. Meal preparation and delivery have continued throughout the summer for students who were unable to leave campus due to travel restrictions.

Starting July 7, facilities will open for public rental, with capacity limits set by current Seward County public meetings guidelines and subject to change between the time of rental and the time of the event. While civic clubs may continue to meet as they have done in the past, no self-serve buffet catering is planned.

The SCCC Wellness Center will resume operations from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For specific questions about use of the equipment, requirements for masks, or schedule adjustments, contact the Wellness Center during operation hours, beginning July 7, at 620-417-1143. 

As part of its “Recommend & Respect” approach, the College encourages all people on campus to practice self-check protocols before entering campus. 

“In short, if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, or feel sick in any way, we request you stay home,” said Trzaska. “To assist in this, we are posting plenty of information around campus to help our Saints family be thoroughly familiar with COVID-19 symptoms and prevention.” Trzaska acknowledged the path ahead is “full of unknowns,” adding that “our role as a College is to do the right thing for our students, team members, and community. That requires flexibility and patience and an abundance of kindness as we find our way through.” 


Can students study on campus this summer?

The library will reopen with social distancing in place. If you received an “I – Incomplete” grade for spring, and need to complete lab assignments, contact your instructor to make arrangements.

Will fall semester schedule dates change? 

SCCC plans to follow the published academic calendar through the fall semester, with on-campus classes set to begin Aug. 17 and final exams wrapping up Dec. 9. All classes will have a remote option plan in place should the situation change.

Can students continue taking classes online? 

Absolutely! For those who are not ready to be around people, many classes are designed to be offered completely online, through SCCC or through EduKan. “Regular” in-person classes are all designed to go online if necessary should COVID-19 surge. 

What about safety in hallways/common areas? 

The College encourages faculty to be mindful of release times and stagger the flow of students into hallways. This does not mean letting class out early, but dismissing students row by row in intervals, to avoid a crowd in the doorway. When moving around campus, through the courtyard and in Student Union spaces, we encourage everyone to have a mask on hand in order to comply with the recent executive order from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. 

Can students or instructors require others to wear a mask? 

On the SCCC campus it is permissible to request others to wear a mask. If you are asked to do so, we strongly encourage you show respect and agree. Some offices or classrooms may require mask-wearing and offer a small supply of disposable masks. We suggest all students carry a personal mask at all times in order to respect the wishes of others. 

What’s the policy for on-campus meetings?

Public meetings in rental facilities must adhere to the local guidelines set out by Seward County in regard to the number of people allowed. For on-campus and student enrollment events, the College recommends and encourages a virtual option be provided to meeting attendees at least through the end of the fall semester. Meeting organizers are expected to include a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting option for club or project members