By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Missouri Western State University plans to return to normal
this fall, after wading through a coronavirus-interrupted academic year.

Missouri Western President Elizabeth Kennedy points out the
administration kept the St. Joseph campus relatively closed during the
coronavirus pandemic.

“But we’ve been opening back up,” Kennedy tells host Barry
Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “We’re now allowing external groups to come on
campus. We’ve been hosting parties and benefits. We’re doing a driver’s ed
program in the building that I’m in right now. Now, a lot of the youngsters are
coming in wearing masks and so forth, but having those groups come to campus.”

Summer camps have returned to Missouri Western, which
anticipates the return of the Kansas City Chiefs training camp this summer. The
Chiefs canceled the camp in St. Joseph after the NFL prohibited clubs from holding
camps away from their stadium complexes.

Prospective students will be on campus on the 15th,
the first in-person visit by potential students to the campus since the
pandemic shutdown.

Kennedy says she’s excited for things to return to normal.

“Hey, we’re coming back. We’re going to be where we were
before the pandemic and looking forward to a really good collegiate experience
for our students as well as our faculty and staff,” says Kennedy, who has only
been president fulltime since March. “I have to remind people, I feel like a
freshman. I haven’t been through a lot of our events and I’m pretty darn
excited about those. It’s really something to look forward to.”

Kennedy says the university will not require students to be
vaccinated to return to campus or require any type of vaccine passport.

“No, no, we’re not going to do anything like that,” Kennedy
says with a chuckle. “And I don’t think we need to. We’ve been very safe and we
have a good group of folks, scientists as well as individuals, more
practical:  how do we handle the
pandemic? We’ve done very well.”

Kennedy says she has leaned on the expertise of that Missouri
Western COVID Response Team in how the university handles operations during the
coronavirus pandemic.

She says masks will be requested for those who have not been
vaccinated, but otherwise the university plans to return to normal this fall.