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Chief of Staff Celine Freetage is talking to Graduate Assistant Nate Padilla before the Student Senate meeting in Walter Hall on Oct. 6, 2021.

Student Senate: OU President responds to student COVID-19 concerns

Ohio University’s Student Senate met Wednesday night where students were able to voice concerns and ask questions about the university’s response to COVID-19 to OU President Hugh Sherman. 

Sherman said he believes the vaccine, testing and masking requirements help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Rhyan Goodman, senator for the Honors Tutorial College, asked Sherman why smaller organizations on campus were recommended to make events virtual, though large events, such as basketball games, were continuing. 

“It is a recommendation, so you can still (meet in-person),” Sherman said. “I think it is just using your best judgment … One of the things we have been talking about, which is controversial, is that we would say… for the performing arts and big events, you’re going to have to show that you have a vaccination card, or that you just had a COVID test and it showed negative.”

Sherman said he was very proud of the community for their response to COVID-19, especially in regards to the 91.6% student vaccination rate, and that he is constantly working with health officials on updating COVID-19 policies if necessary.

“We probably have two to three calls a week with state and local officials to talk about what’s happening,” Sherman said. “Most people are predicting – not that it’s an end – but that we should see a downward movement in the number of cases … in the next 10 (to 14) days.”

Additionally, Sherman spoke about trying to increase transparency and promote clearer communication between the university and students.

“One of the things I try to do is … try to answer questions as clearly and honestly with the information I have,” he said.

Sherman also talked about a plan to invest in rehabilitating residence halls and creating a digital platform for students to be able to register for class and pay bills in one place. 

Finally, Terry Hogan, interim vice president for student affairs, reminded students the silent march for Martin Luther King Jr. Day would take place Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m. with a speaker and brunch afterwards. 


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