After spending the last months of the spring semester off-campus due to the pandemic, Eureka College is planning for a fall reopening with a new normal.

EC leadership is in the process of constructing a tangible plan that will ensure the safety, health and well-being of its campus community in a variety of scenarios. 

The College will continue to follow statewide executive orders and the guidance of local, state and national public health officials while monitoring the situation. But, with its intimate size, Eureka has the ability to be nimble and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

The new normal that is being developed may include modified in-person classes where social distancing is required. Students, faculty and staff members will also be provided with EC masks to be worn when social distancing is not possible.

However, the goal is to maintain the Uniquely Eureka attention to academics and student life that has been a staple ‘Neath the Elms since 1855.

In order to enhance safety and exercise caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Eureka will provide things like single rooms for every residential student, touchless sink options and other features in bathrooms and hand sanitizing stations throughout campus.

There will be enhanced cleaning protocols and housekeeping measures focused on bathrooms, common spaces and touchpoints, while dining schedules will be revised so that students, faculty and staff on campus eat in shifts to avoid crowding.

In addition, the Office of Student Life is planning an intentional slate of student engagement activities that will follow the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines for gatherings based upon our region’s phase of reopening.  

Although the EC Department of Athletics must await decisions from the NCAA, it is working with the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference preparing for a variety of possible scenarios, all of which will ensure a safe environment for student-athletes and fans, if allowed.

“This has been such a challenging and disruptive time for so many people,” President Jamel Wright said. “While there are still many unknowns and guidelines we have to follow, I really miss the buzz of campus, so I’m excited that we’re planning to welcome back our campus community, albeit under a necessary new normal.”

Originally founded by abolitionist members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Eureka College holds the unique distinction of being the first college in Illinois and only the third in the nation to admit men and women on an equal basis. The College, which is located on nearly 70 wooded acres in central Illinois, is the smallest of only 23 colleges and universities to ever award a bachelor’s degree to a future President of the United States.