By Darby Good | Digital Managing Editor
In preparation for the fall semester, the university has set up air-conditioned tents along different points of campus. The tents should provide the necessary space required to allow students to study while adhering to social distancing requirements as long as they are well-regulated and open for long hours to accommodate student schedules.
While the tents do provide internet connection and air conditioning, in order to best keep students from breaking social distancing between tables, Baylor should have at least one person stationed outside each tent.
People who are stationed outside of the tents could keep track of the number of students inside, point students to open tables and keep students from entering without proper face coverings. These positions could be open to security staff members or could open new work study positions to students.
The addition of at least one worker at each tent would also regulate the traffic as new students enter and exit the tents. Without these regulations, students could risk exposure by overcrowding the tent locations and coming into close proximity to each other while searching for available tables.
Inside tents should also be arrows directing traffic flow among students. Many restaurants and other businesses have done this around the country in wake of the pandemic, and Baylor should implement this set of directions to better prevent students from bumping into each other and breaking proper distancing.
Tents should also be open for hours that reflect on-campus libraries. Tents near Moody Library should stay open until the library closes with some tents even replicating the 24-hour areas. Similarly, tents outside of the BSB should offer their same hours. If tents are going to add on to the space that students have to study, then they should be open for the same length of time to offer students the extended spaces for as long as needed.
In addition to having people at the entrance of the tents managing the number of students inside, each tent should be stocked with disinfectant wipes so students can wipe off their table before leaving and lowering the risk of spread to the next person who sits at the table.
The idea of adding tents on campus to better accommodate student needs is very helpful, but without proper regulations, cleaning procedures and realistic hours of operation, the tents could become more harmful than helpful.