News, On campus

Services across campus make changes due to coronavirus concerns


Residential Life officials sent out an email March 12 informing students living in the residence halls that they must return to their permanent homes by March 15.

International students, athletes with on-campus obligations and students who cannot return to their permanent homes were able to apply for permission to remain in the residence halls, according to the email.

Tech Village residents are not being told to leave at this time.

Additional questions about residential life should be sent to


Dining Services reduced hours for the Caf and Swoops and is only offering take-out service. The Caf closes between meal times and conducts a thorough cleaning of the area to lower risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Steak n Shake, Starbucks, Swoops Market, Au Bon Pain, The Perch and Which Wich are closed at this time.

The reduced hours of operation for Swoops and the Caf are as follows:

  • Chick-Fil-A
    • Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.
    • Saturday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • The Caf
    • Monday – Friday Breakfast 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
    • Monday – Friday Lunch 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Monday – Friday Dinner 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    • Saturday – Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Saturday – Sunday Dinner 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

A housing and dining fee refund is planned for next semester, though details are still being deliberated.

Since Tech’s campus closed after spring break, the food pantry has seen an increase in people needing food, resulting in a lack of resources, said Assistant Director Michelle Huddleston.

“Donations are always needed,” Huddleston said. “The sort of items you could easily eat if you lived in your car.”

The donations needed are as follows:

  • Plasticware
  • Plastic or reusable bags
  • Cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Canned soup
  • Crackers

The main pantry in Tech Village, operated by student workers, is closed for the remainder of the semester. However, the auxiliary location is still open at Tech’s library.

“Donations can be brought to the library front desk anytime the building is open,” Academic Support Associate Rose Black said.

The food pantry is free for everyone associated with Tech, including students, faculty and staff.

“I definitely felt like it was God’s intervention that allowed us to have put an emergency pantry in place for our campus community the very same semester a pandemic such as this breaks out,” Huddleston said. “It is hard to attribute that to just coincidence.”

The auxiliary pantry is in Room 209 of the library and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 7 p.m.

For more information on Dining Services, email

For more information on Tech’s food pantry, contact Rose Black at 931-372-6107.


Golden Eagles in need of medical attention but hesitant about leaving home can contact Health Services through Zoom Telemedicine.

If a student or faculty member is in need of medicine, they can drive to the office and a nurse will dispense them. Patients must be in Tennessee during the scheduled appointment time, according to Tech’s website.

Director of Health Services Leigh Ann Ray said the clinic continues to operate at normal faculty hours.

“We are committed to taking care of the health and well-being of our campus community. We are currently seeing the regular things we see this time of year: flu, allergies, colds, skin rashes, ankle sprains, etc.,” Ray said.

Ray said the clinic does not test patients for the coronavirus.

“If a patient suspects they have the COVID-19 disease, we would refer them to a local testing center,” Ray said.

The clinic is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment visit or call 931-372-3320.

Health Services is not the only department at Tech stepping up to help the community during the pandemic. The School of Nursing faculty are providing masks and other supplies to hospitals.

“Anything we have in our labs that could be helpful we’ll give out,” Kim Hanna, dean of nursing said.

Faculty, staff and students in Tech’s College of Engineering also found a solution to the lack of medical supplies at a statewide level by using the 3D printers to make 749 face shields to combat the coronavirus.

Members of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission contacted President Phil Oldham about the need for face shields for Tennessee. Oldham sent the task to the College of Engineering and they went to work, said Director of Research and Economic Development Michael Aikens.

The team creating the shields is composed of Dean of Engineering Dr. Joseph Slater, Associate Dean of Engineering Dr. Vahid Motevalli, professors Dr. Michael Allen and Dr. Ismail Fidan and students Ankit Gupta, Seymur Hasanov, Hunter Hinshaw, Mahdi Mohammadizadeh, Hao Lu, Kyle Wendt and ZhiCheng Zhnag.

“It’s a great feeling. This is just one more example of how we as a higher education institution can help our community and the state,” Aikens said.

This project piqued the interest of outside sources, which led to teachers and students from other schools reaching out to make face shields with their own 3D printers.

Teachers Amy Fricks from DeKalb County and Kent Barnard from Coffee County said they used their 3D printers to contribute to the project as well. Sean Sweeney of GPJ in Nashville offered his assistance to cut out the plastic face shields.

The medical equipment is being supplied to TEMA and local healthcare providers, said Aikens.

“It definitely is an unusual set of circumstances…the job of what we are performing in the iMaker space is to meet student needs…this is just trading a student need for community needs,” Hinshaw said. “It’s definitely rewarding because we know there is a need for these pieces of equipment.”

The team plans to continue making face shields until the need is met on both a state and local level.