Student Government Association remains committed to student safety

By Aaliyah Patel

To start the spring 2021 semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) has implemented coronavirus precautionary measures to ensure safety on campus during remote and hybrid learning.

In collaboration with the Student Health Center, students, faculty and staff are subject to participate in the random mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing program if they are frequently utilizing the campus.

This saliva-based PCR test serves as an effort of contact tracing, preventing others from becoming infected or spreading the virus.

Dylan Erdelyi, a senior musical theater major and SGA president, shared how the organization supported efforts with the Office of Community Standards and Public Safety to enforce the COVID-19 protocols.

“We have many members of the campus community that are immunocompromised or go home to family members that are at high risk for this virus. Despite the fact that many of us have been weathered by the effects of this virus, we cannot let up and cannot leave any members of the Rider community behind,” Erdelyi said.

The Student Government Association (SGA) has increased awareness of student health and wellness through actively communicating the changes through their various social media platforms, Zoom meetings, emails and university website updates.

Elizabeth O’Hara, a junior computer science major and SGA vice president for academic affairs, shared how the continued commitment to safety precautions will ensure health and safety this semester. She highlighted the importance of mental health for students during the pandemic.

“Last semester, the Health and Safety Committee brought in a variety of guest speakers who talked about mental health, body positivity and supporting students with autism, among other things. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing some exciting new mental health initiatives to bring necessary support to our campus community,” O’Hara stated.

Keeping students, staff and faculty in the loop with the university’s Resolved and Ready plan is key to helping slow the spread of the virus on campus.

O’Hara continued, “Other precautions being enforced include utilizing the Campus Clear app, wearing a face-covering in indoor areas and when within 6-feet of others outdoors, adhering to the residential guest policy and maintaining other healthy practices.”

The comprehensive list of the university’s guidelines and expectations is constantly being updated as the semester progresses.

Megan Raab, a senior musical theatre major, mentioned how SGA has taken many steps to reduce the continued stress of the pandemic.

“SGA is working to ensure that student’s mental health and wellbeing is a top priority. We are working on expanding the support available so students don’t have to go through these hard times alone,” Raab said.

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