Wayne State Student Senate held its first meeting of the new semester on Sept. 3 to discuss the university’s library resources and new initiatives for students this fall.
Library access is important for many students who use it as a place to study, meet with friends or for internet and printer access.
The David Adamany Undergraduate Library, Arthur Neef Law Library and Shiffman Medical Library will be open to students, faculty and staff this semester, but COVID-19 safety protocols have been put in place.
Capacity limits are set in libraries and all patrons are now required to make reservations in order to spend time in the libraries, said Matt Wistowsky, WSU Library System associate director. If necessary, reservations can also provide WSU contact tracers with a record of who entered the facilities.
“We do want everybody to reserve a spot. We've had a few people come in and just needed to print, and we do still require that reservation,” he said. “This is helpful not only for us in the libraries… our capacity is also only at a certain level. So even if you're only there for five minutes, it's still a number that we have to account for in our library. It also helps for contact tracing.”
Students must complete the “trifecta” of filling out the campus daily screener, making a reservation and showing their OneCard upon entry in order to use the facilities, said Jill Wurm, WSU Library System associate director of marketing and communications.
Library staff checks for completed daily screeners, but these are often not being filled out by patrons, Wurm said.
“A lot of people don't know they need to take the campus daily screener. Even if you live on campus, you still have to take the daily screener,” she said.
Senate also discussed the Bold Moves initiative, which challenges students to use their creativity to produce projects that will positively impact the campus and surrounding community, WSU President M. Roy Wilson said in an email to the campus community.
“It was created to, as I say, identify these ideas and have people bring them forward, hoping to build on the strengths of the university,” said Tracy Utech, WSU associate vice president and principal gifts campaign director.
Students are required to have a faculty partner if they submit an idea or project, said Bree Kneisler, WSU associate director of campaigns.
“Often your time at Wayne State as students is in a shorter time period than maybe the tenure of a faculty member, and so we want to make sure that it can live on potentially beyond your time here,” Kneisler said.
After students were seen without masks on campus during the first week of classes, more emphasis is being placed on the requirement, Dean of Students David Strauss said. One student refused to comply with the university’s policies, which resulted in a temporary suspension.
“As we talked about earlier in the summer, we don't want to use the code of conduct. We want to help people learn and understand and cooperate,” Strauss said.
Student Senate’s next meeting will take place on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.
Alanna Williams is a correspondent for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo by Guneet Ghotra. Guneet is the graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at email@example.com.