Southern Arkansas University prepares to return back to campus


MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southern Arkansas University is prepping the campus for students to return on August 11th.

According to the President, Dr. Trey Berry, enrollment numbers are high for undergraduate and graduate admissions. Berry says SAU is looking very promising for the fall.

The school has increased in cleaning policies, rearranged classrooms, and the student lounge areas to allow for more social distance space.

“Of course everybody will be required to wear masks like this, in the classroom, in any building on campus and when they are together in larger groups outside,” said Berry.

Under the new normal, policies will be strictly monitored on campus. Clubs and Sports will continue but in a different way. The president says they are looking to go more virtual.

Berry encourages face to face learning even as more majors of the college switch to online. He says professors were asked to prepare virtual lessons to give students the flexibility of attending class in person, online, or a combination.

“So if a student has to leave the classroom for a certain amount of time they can keep up with that class and seamlessly keep up with their work,” said Berry.

Residence Halls have been rearranged. For students with underlying health issues, they will be offered different housing arrangements.

“We also have designated quarantine spaces in our apartments, we’ve set aside apartments that if some students happen to become ill we can move them quickly into quarantine, any contacts they have had we can move them into quarantine really quickly,” said Berry.

According to the president, the university has acquired two rapid testing machines for the campus. Berry says students can get tested in 15 minutes if needed.

Tuition will remain the same and scholarships are available.

“We’ve started something called the Mulerider Strong Fund and people are giving to that and the primary focus of that will be helping students in need,” said Berry.

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