MSU masks up: university takes innovative steps for new semester

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Another fall semester has started at Midwestern State University with students getting acquainted with new professors, buying books and buckling down to study, just like many others before them.

But it’s also unlike many before them in a lot of ways.

For starters, when they step in their classes they’re seeing a lot of signs such as one telling them to clean down their desk and chairs before and after their classes and that’s just the start.

While each professor will have slightly different procedures for their classes this semester, they all came in with the same agenda.

“I knew what I could do to protect myself, I’m in healthcare I know what I’m going to do I’m not going to put myself at risk how could we convince the students to do the same thing,” Dr. William Lyons aid

While imparting knowledge amid COVID-19.

Lyons is the Athletic Training Program Director at MSU who said in pre-COVID times, his students’ instruction would be hands-on but his classes will now look a lot different.

“If this was a normal semester like every other fall semester [it would be] very dirty because things happen, people get hurt, they tear up knees, they have heat exhaustion,” Lyons said.

The music faculty has made many adjustments as well such as outdoor classes, but also a lot of focus has been placed on aerosol studies of virus transmission and they have been the foundation of many changes in music class, especially for wind instruments.

“So one of the items that we have purchased for all of our instrumentalists are bell covers that will go over around the instruments and close and then when students play that’s gonna absorb into the bell cover,” MSU Music Department Chair Dr. Susan Harvey said.

And, that’s not all.

There will be special masks specifically for wind instruments.

“For brass players, they will put their mask on and there will be a place where they can insert their mouthpiece and then they can play and they’ll still be filtered,” Harvey said.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg for trying to freeze the spread of the virus.

Masks for vocalists and students having to disinfect desks before and after classes, rehearsals taking place in 30-minute increments and much more.

All across campus the class plans are structured with a plan to fight COVID-19.

And while they have a lot of changes to adjust to like the six-foot distancing rule and wearing masks in class, students and professors alike are doing what they can to try to keep this campus open, or at least open in the new sense of that word.

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