An Optimistic Outlook for an In-Person Future

Photo by Logan Stapleton

By Sally Kate Zaft, Staff Writer-

With the opportunity to achieve a sense of normalcy, the University allowed for safely conducted in-person events and classes to return on campus. 

Starting on Feb. 1, UTC restarted in-person classes as scheduled and allowed organizations and clubs to resume activities safely. 

Lane Gutridge, the president of the BYX fraternity, shared what they are doing to make sure they are adhering to the university guidelines. The fraternity realized that their own behavior can affect other organizations on campus, and not just their group. 

“We definitely recognize that our adherence to the policies does a lot to positively impact the campus, whereas if we were to be breaking the rules, that has negative consequences for the campus too,” Gutridge said. 

Gutridge shared that they have to get their plans approved by the University and need to ensure they are sticking to the guidelines. 

“We are required as a fraternity to come up with a COVID plan that we turn into fraternity and sorority life, and it has to get approved,” Gutridge said. “They were pretty specific in some of the things that they would like to see, but for the most part, it was even up to us to kind of deem what we thought would be necessary.”

When having in-person events, the fraternity made sure to require members to wear masks and social distance. They even acquired proper sanitation equipment and closely monitor their capacity at events.

“We also require that people RSVP to our events, even our current members,” Gutridge said. 

By having a list of those attending the events, BYX is adequately prepared and can communicate with contact tracing if that situation arises. 

Gutridge said that remaining transparent is really the best way to conduct events during this time. He also said that BYX will do a great job with this transition back to in-person and will do everything possible to adhere to guidelines. 

“Our brothers are really good about being dedicated to following the rules and following the policies and things like that because they do understand that that’s how we get to keep doing this, and that’s how you make progress towards getting back to what things used to be like,” Gutridge said. 

On February 10, Chancellor Dr. Steve Angle announced UTC’s plans for the fall of 2021 in regard to classes and overall structure.

The plan illustrates a schedule similar to those before COVID-19 appeared and will try to have the semester be as normal as possible. The University will still be monitoring situations but believes the fall semester will be a big step towards normalcy on campus again.

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