COLUMBIA, S.C. — For an hour, University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen, answered questions that students and parents had about the university amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many students had to leave all of their belongings in their dorm rooms, as the university closed its doors during spring break, while students were away.
Currently 33 students, three members of the faculty and one staff member have tested positive for the virus.
On Monday night, Caslen spoke about how the university made the decision to keep the rest of the spring semester virtual.
"We recognize that spring semester is such an important semester especially for the class of 2020, not to mention the commencement exercises itself, but it was something we recognized was tremendously important."
Commencement has been moved to August 7th and 8th, but could be pushed back again.
There were questions from parents about refunds for housing and meal plans. The university is planning on refunding families in the coming weeks.
"Some of these students are having to eat at home, and probably eating their families out of house and home," says Dennis Pruitt, Vice President of Student Affairs. "Within two weeks or so we will probably have this money out."
Mental health resources were also discussed during the virtual town hall.
The university currently has tele-health and tele-counseling services for students. However, they plan on adding more services starting April 1st.
"There are several options that students can pursue online, perhaps doing meditation and some other activities that may help lower the stress and anxiety," says Dr. Deborah Beck, Executive Director of Student Health Services. "Starting April 1st, we are going to be doing a much further platform with tele-counseling."
The University is asking anyone with questions to check out their COVID-19 page for the latest updates.
A release on the site explains that the university wants to help anyone within the university who becomes ill. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you're asked to call Student Health Services at 803-576-6515.