Continuing to Stay Safe on Campus

By Samantha Smith

As the semester passes the halfway point, students may waver in following all guidelines for COVID-19. Youngstown State University has tried to ensure safety by putting out QR codes in all buildings for students to scan, launching the COVID-19 dashboard and having areas with cleaning supplies for students to use.

Joy Byers, executive director of campus recreation and student well-being, reports a gradual decrease in the number of students signing in using QR codes. Photo by Kamron Myers/The Jambar

With the number of cases still increasing nationwide, students are asked to not forget to continue to scan the QR codes, wear face masks properly and disinfect any surface they use.

Joy Polkabla Byers, executive director of campus recreation and student well-being, explained how, through one week in the recreation center, students are showing a decrease in QR scans on the YSU app. She said scans drop even more at the end of the week. 

“I would probably say there is a drop off in the consistency of it,” she said. “I start to see Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s a lot more adoption of it and then Thursday and Friday. Now are there less classes? Are there less people around campus? That I may not know.”

There may be explanations for the lack of consistency, such as fewer people going into campus buildings at the end of the week. Sally Frederick, a junior in an individualized curriculum program, said from what she has seen, a lot of students are not following the set guidelines when going to or sitting in or class. For example, students not fully wearing their masks.

“The issue I see a lot of, is everyone is wearing the mask out here, right below the nose. Then I’m in the hallways, I see them below their lips or just hanging off their ear,” Frederick said. “I have students who I’ve reached out to them and I’m like, ‘Could you pull your mask up over your face?’ And they have responded anywhere from apathy to hostility.”

Frederick did provide a possible solution for this problem. She said that the university could have someone go around to make sure all students are properly wearing their masks because it is a student conduct issue.

Information about COVID-19 and where to call if someone has come into contact with an infected person, is on the YSU website and has been sent out in emails to students. 

Chet Cooper, professor and chair of the academic senate, said students should pay more attention to emails and messages from the college because it could answer their questions about COVID-19.

“I just think everybody’s stressed out and so you miss these messages, or you’re not paying close attention to them,” he said. “It’s not to talk harshly about students, because so-called adults like me miss them, too. We need to pay a little bit closer attention to the messages from the authorities who are in charge of keeping us safe.”


For more information about COVID-19 on campus, go to