Plaster Student Union is nearly empty as most vendors are closed due to COVID-19.

As of March 30, 2020, Missouri State University transitioned its classes online for the remainder of the semester in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. MSU plans on also transitioning summer classes to an online-only format. 

The university is also in the process of planning a backup for the fall semester if the situation calls for it.

President Clif Smart said the university is planning for seated fall classes with “modifications to safely deliver them.” He said more details will follow as planning is still underway.

Smart said the ongoing situation has put the Strategic Enrollment Plan, MSU’s plan to draw in students for enrollment, on hold. 

Smart said what he misses most from seated classes is the interaction with students and on-campus events.

“I think all of us miss the human interaction,” Smart said. “The end of year events like Greek Jam, research forums, awards ceremonies, commencements.”

While plans are being drawn up for fall classes, the campus is being disinfected. Matt Morris, vice president for administrative services, said “hospital grade” disinfectants are being used on highly touched surfaces across the campus. 

“Custodial staff are currently disinfecting surfaces, especially high touch surfaces such as push and pull plates, door knobs, handrails, entrances, push and pull partitions, desks and table tops, light switches, sink faucet handles, toilet fixtures, soap, toilet paper, and towel dispensers, water fountains,” Morris said. “As we look towards the return of students, faculty and staff in the fall, we continue to evaluate the frequencies and procedures needed to provide a clean and safe environment for the campus community and our guests.”

In his April 15 Clif’s Notes, Smart mentioned obtaining funding via the CARES Act. He said the university plans on using half of the funding in the next two weeks, but is uncertain of when the other half will be used.

“We hope to roll out our plan to distribute the financial aid half of the CARES Act money in the next two weeks,” Smart said. “The timing of the other half, which the university can use to fill budget holes, is unknown.”

Though the situation is on-going, Smart said MSU is “resilient and will get through this.”

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