RecSports to reopen faster than other campus facilities 

RecSports+to+reopen+faster+than+other+campus+facilities%C2%A0

Sheryl Lawrence, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include clarifying information from the Office of the Dean of Students. This story was originally uploaded to the July 6 Flipbook.

While some restaurants and study spaces on campus kept their COVID-19 adjusted hours in place during the summer, RecSports is moving toward “near normal” operations sooner than other facilities. 

RecSports is taking advantage of the low amount of summer traffic to move toward full capacity operations in all their facilities. While the weight room in Gregory Gym has required reservations, enforced social distancing and had less equipment available since August 2020, it will now be opening to 100% capacity. 

Other facilities such as the swimming pool, rock climbing wall and exercises classes are not open to full capacity and still require reservations due to the need to retrain staff, according to  Cecilia Lopez Cardenas, senior assistant director for communications at RecSports.

“The summer presented a unique opportunity to make this transition because of the reduced traffic that we’re seeing on campus,” Cardenas said. “Following the guidance that we received (from the University), the department felt it was suited to adjust, and we’re not all there quite yet.”

Cardenas said if someone enters the facilities and is later diagnosed with COVID-19, they will follow the University policy with contact tracing, which includes notifying people who may have been exposed using room analysis and room check-in information.

Student organizations will also be able to begin recruiting in person this summer. Although organizations must continue tabling virtually, they have the option to table in person by reserving spaces on days where the designated areas are not reserved for freshman orientation, according to an email from HornsLink.

SURE Walk hours will also remain the same, Blanca Gamez, associate director of Parking and Transportation Services, said in an email. Other COVID-19 policies, such as wiping down carts and cars at the end of each shift and providing staff with gloves and sanitizer, will remain in place as well.

“We continue to take other pandemic health and safety precautions by providing SURE Walk staff with gloves and sanitizer,” Gamez said. “Vehicles will continue to be wiped down at the start and end of each shift. All staff members will continue to use the Protect Texas app prior to reporting for duty.”

Travis Wilmann, communications officer for UT Libraries, said in an email that the Perry-Castañeda Library is expected to return to full service in the fall semester. Wilmann said other UT Libraries locations may reopen as well, but staff is currently trying to decide which ones will reopen and to what extent. 

Sara Kennedy, director of strategic and executive communications for the Office of the Dean of Students, said Student Emergency Services has been working in the office to support walk-in, call, and online requests from students throughout Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. 

“UT Outpost currently offers contactless grocery pickup from the Food Pantry, and shopping by appointment in the Career Closet,” Kennedy said. “We are planning to fully reopen UT Outpost on August 17 for walk-in shopping going forward.”