On Oct. 30, Student Life issued an email announcing that attending non-course related extracurricular activities would be optional Nov. 3 in order to ensure that members of the William Jewell College community could have the ability to vote in the upcoming election.
The activities that were affected by this announcement include those related to athletics, music and theatre. Other leaders of co-curricular groups, such as clubs, honors societies and organizations, were also invited to participate in making attendance optional so as to help make voting accessible to its members.
On Nov. 2, Joseph Garcia, vice president for finance operations and chief operating officer, sent a follow-up email delineating an extension of the scope of Operation Safe Campus as it related to the election.
Operation Safe Campus is Jewell’s COVID-19 threat assessment matrix, which outlines the protocol that the college should take when dealing with cases of COVID-19.
Given the potential for disruption resulting from the election, the College has decided to implement additional security measures. The additional security measures are in response and an increased risk of external disruptions, both resulting from the spread of COVID-19 and extending into issues beyond the pandemic, including possibilities of civil unrest as a result of the election.
“To be clear, the College has not received intelligence of any outside threat to campus; rather, under the aegis of Operation Safe Campus, we are being proactive in mitigating risk by preparing for disruptions, should any occur,” stated the email.
The new guidelines and measures will be in effect before and directly after the election. The new guidelines and measures are as follows:
Avoid congregating in groups or interacting with outside groups: Operation Safe Campus only will continue to be successful if we follow our guidelines and mitigate the risk of viral spread on campus.
Coordination with City Officials: Our Campus Safety Director [Landon Jones] remains in communication with his Liberty counterpart for situational awareness related to adverse reactions to election results.
Extra Security Presence: William Jewell’s campus is private property. Additional security will be positioned at main entrance points to deter unauthorized gatherings that might spark any conflict on campus. Buildings will be locked at 5:00 p.m. to prevent unauthorized access.
Use of the Campus-wide Text Alert System: If necessary, the Campus Safety Director will use the text alert system to notify the campus community of any concerning or potentially threatening activity on campus. If you receive a text alert of this nature, stay indoors or off campus until the situation resolves.”
The College is urging students in particular to contact Campus Safety in the case of any threats, potential or actual, that could disturb the learning environment at Jewell. Individuals can also report suspicious activity using the college’s reporting form.