Dear Kelly,

Midterms are just around the corner. A couple of weeks ago, you wrote an article about how to study for tests, but for me, I would like to study with my classmates. How, during this time of social distancing and campus closures, can we study in groups?

What a great question! For a lot of students, the campus isn’t just a place that we come to take classes, but it also serves as our meeting spot for group projects and to study for big exams. We’re used to using the library for quiet study and gathering information for research papers. We enjoy accessing the computer labs and utilizing the printing abilities. But with COVID-19, all of that changed.

I, personally, relate to this reader’s question. I have been blessed by a group of ladies that I have shared classes with and have been on the same journey for about a year. We each benefit greatly from meeting together to study and do group work. In fact, it’s not only beneficial in that we share our interpretations and understandings of what we are learning, but we also hold each other accountable. It was difficult not to meet with these friends of mine last semester, but things have changed and are continuing to change.

Even though summer classes are currently online, Mercer University campuses are open for students. This means that if you would like to meet in small groups, use the computer labs or visit the library, you are able to do so. Several precautions have been implemented at each campus to ensure the safety of students and faculty. For instance, as you enter each campus building, you will see signs reminding you to “Paws and Pump” at Bears Care stations. These stations have hand sanitizer, disinfecting surface wipes and masks available for you to use. In addition, throughout each building there are signs reminding everyone to social distance.

Classrooms are accessible to use for small study groups. There is limited capacity available in each room, so we ask that you minimize groups. The campus cleaning staff thoroughly disinfects each classroom after use to ensure the safety of staff, faculty and students.

I would recommend if you are planning to visit the campus to work on group projects or have study groups, that you call a Mercer campus coordinator first to reserve a classroom or space. The phone number and coordinator for each campus is:

If you would like to use the library for your study group, spaces are available at the Tarver Library in Macon, Swilley Library in Atlanta, and the Regional Academic Center libraries in Douglas and Henry counties. No appointment is required.

The computer labs are also available to use. The campuses have reduced seating in each lab to maintain social distancing, and sanitizer is available upon entry. Each computer area is disinfected after use, so it is safe and ready for the next guest to use it.   

Mercer has taken the necessary precautions as recommended by the CDC to ensure their faculty and students’ safety.  Additionally, as Mercer students, they invite us to come to the campus as needed, provided that we also follow the proper guidelines. For more about what Mercer is doing for all students to keep us safe, go to mercer.edu/coronavirus

Before I close, I would like to add one last thing. I am a student ambassador at Mercer’s Henry County Regional Academic Center. When the campus reopened, I was very apprehensive to come back to work, as I believe a lot of Americans felt despite their career field. I have been astounded by Mercer’s response to COVID-19 and the diligence the University has shown in ensuring the safety of all who come to the campus. I have now been back to work for a few weeks, and never once have I felt unsafe. Never once have I felt that precautions were not being exercised and that Mercer was not being vigilant in its pledge to keep all of us safe. If you need to come to the campus, I want you to know that your safety and health are Mercer’s first priority. I have witnessed this for myself. I just wanted to let you all know that.

Good luck to you! As always, I wish you health, happiness and continued success throughout your journey!

Do you have a question about distance learning or coping with school in these challenging times? Each week Kelly Browning, an early childhood education/special education major and student ambassador at the Henry County Regional Academic Center, answers questions from the Mercer community. Email her at kelly.l.browning@live.mercer.edu or fill out our online form to submit your question anonymously.

 

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