OUSG and President Comerford hosts town hall to discuss current and future state of Otterbein
Student enrollment, Campus Center renovations and vaccination relevance were discussed
On Thursday, there was a Town Hall meeting hosted by Otterbein Student Government President Joseline Martinez-Cortez and President Comerford to discuss the board of trustees' report, next steps for strategic priorities, and the consequences for unvaccinated students and staff.
Comerford started his update with campus population statistics. There are currently 1,429 returning students, which is down 8%. The first-year student population increased by 74%, with a total of 569 students. Comerford also added how room and board rates are down $3 million alone.
The strategic planning steps started with the process of innovation for the Campus Center. Comerford explained how there will be four phases to innovation. Phase one will consist of a new façade, elevator, and entryway. Phase two is to renovate the dining hall stairs and cafeteria.
Phases three and four include renovating the whole first floor and creating a combination of a bookstore and café for students.
The last thing Comerford spoke on was the vaccine requirements and consequences for the unvaccinated students and staff. The requirement is for every student and staff to be fully vaccinated before October 29. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated, will begin weekly testing on Nov. 1.
Even with an approved medical or religious exemption from the vaccine, those students and staff will still be required to do weekly testing. Any unvaccinated student before the spring semester will have their schedules dropped on Jan. 5. Any staff that is not vaccinated before the spring semester will have their last day of work Jan. 7.