Campus Tours Return with New Protocols

Central Methodist University is once again open for campus tours effective June 1, with new safety protocols as the top priority.

Since in-person tours were suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Joe Parisi, vice president for enrollment management, and a team of staff members have been working to develop a plan for bringing back the practice in a safe way. The result is a number of changes to the regular protocols, including fewer tours per day, temperature checks for visitors, and an emphasis on physical distancing.

“The campus tour is a large part of showcasing CMU, and if we’re going to reopen and get back to a sense of normalcy, this is our opportunity to do it safely,” said Parisi, who has personally been over the tour route on multiple occasions to ensure that the institution is being conscious of safety in every possible scenario.

Each visitor and their family will be sent an email prior to their arrival, explaining safety precautions and including the following points:

  • Hand sanitizer will be available. Any facilities, doors, and equipment used will be sanitized before and after use. 
  • Masks are strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.
  • Greetings will be verbal versus handshakes, etc.
  • Physical distancing will be practiced.
  • If you are showing signs or symptoms of any illness, please stay home. Temperature will be taken upon arrival.

The new tours will begin with a greeting by Parisi himself, followed by temperature checks for the students and family members. Throughout the tours, care will be taken to keep safe distances between all involved, and doors will be propped open to ensure as little surface contact as possible. Hand sanitizer will also be applied at the beginning of each tour and available in multiple locations along the way.

While CMU was previously able to accommodate as many as 10-15 tours per day, a limit of four per day has been put in place to ensure there will be enough time to clean and sanitize between each. The enrollment management team has also doubled the number of staff members that will give tours, so as to make sure doors are propped and cleaned.

A vital part of campus tours, the interactions between prospective students and CMU faculty and coaches will also be performed differently for the time being. The Missouri Room of Holt Hall will play host to all such meetings, either in person with room for social distancing or via Zoom conferences. New technology -- including specialized speakers and microphones, along with a 360-degree view camera – has been installed to give students the best experience possible under the new circumstances.

Along with all the changes taking effect, an important part of bringing back tours will be the continuous assessment of the process.

“If for whatever reason we feel, at any point in time, that it’s unsafe, we will not continue,” said Parisi.

As of the end of May, the campus tour schedule was booked full through the first two weeks of June, with students eager to see what the Fayette campus has to offer. With its rural location in Howard County – where only three positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed – the university has earned a reputation for safety, which Parisi and others are committed to maintaining.

Those interested in scheduling a campus visit or virtual tour are encouraged do so here:

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