OSU residential life director Leon McClinton faced the biggest task of his career in 2020. Not only did he have to take care of himself and family in a worldwide crisis, he also had to prepare an entire school to live during it.
McClinton thrived under pressure.
Throughout the first three months of the 2020-2021 academic year, nearby hotels and OSU agreed to lease out hotel rooms for students who had tested positive for COVID-19, giving students in quarantine a more comfortable experience, instead of living in dorms.
“(Last summer) we definitely had to spend a lot of time preparing for the 2020 and 2021 academic year,” McClinton said. “Senior leaders Shannon Baughman and Tanya Massey spent a great deal of time setting us up for success.”
But that was last year. Now, McClinton’s onto the next task: ensuring safety and calmness as the Delta variant rages through the country. While COVID restrictions are easing up in Stillwater, Mcclinton and his staff have begun to make improvements throughout the dorms, as well as creating new resources for students.
Notable additions for students living on campus this year will be the extended availability of community mentors. Mentors will now be required to have their doors open for students for two hours a week to help assist students with any problems.
“This modification will hopefully help residents that are seeking support and guidance within their living environment,” McClinton said.
While students are returning back to pre-COVID activities and gatherings, McClinton and his team are ecstatic to resume events and activities throughout campus.
“We are really excited about offering large group events this year,” McClinton said. ”We want every on-campus resident to be successful in and outside of the classroom”
Before the academic year begins, OSU’s Residence Hall Association has already scheduled their first event, “Late Night Cafe” at North Dining on August 13th, with other events being scheduled throughout the fall semester.