The Johannes Kepler University Linz is taking another step at the start of the semester to support a more active campus community.
Following three semesters of online classes, popular student parties traditionally organized by the Austrian Student Union (ÖH) as well as student groups at the JKU, will start up again. In an effort to ensure that student parties are safe during the pandemic, the JKU, together with the Austrian Student Union, will enforce a “2G Rule” for those who attend student parties. This means that only those who are vaccinated and recovered from Covid can attend. In the area of classroom instruction, the Austrian “3G Rule” will continue to apply.
A far-reaching public safety concept along with a high rate of vaccination among students in Upper Austria (according to a survey by Statistics Austria, 75% of all students in Upper Austria were fully immunized as of August 31, 2021) not only facilitates a high rate of on-site, in-person attendance in class during the 2021/2022 Winter Semester, but will also allow more student activities at the JKU.
JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas explains: "A university is not just about classes and studying; it’s also about social interaction between students and with faculty members, often resulting in lifelong friendships and networks. However, because our students’ health and safety remain a top priority, the JKU and the Austrian Student Union have agreed to enforce a “2G Rule” when it comes to student parties. This means that now, nothing will stand in the way of a fun, enjoyable - and above all safe! - party."
He added: "In all other respects and when it comes to attending class and taking exams, the Austrian ‘3G Rule’ will continue to apply at the JKU. I do not support the ‘2G Rule’ in this area as I feel there should be no restrictions ín the area of public education resulting from the pandemic. The JKU also greatly supports a program to give all students low-threshold access to testing or vaccinations."
Vanessa Fuchs, Austrian Student Union chairperson, remarked: "As a student representative, first and foremost, we aim to ensure we maintain smooth university operations. We also need to protect students who cannot be vaccinated. The JKU has instituted good regulations in support of this idea, meaning that once again, we can finally study on-site and in-person and enjoy social events. Student life is back but with mandates to ensure everyone’s safety. The “2G Rule” will ensure that we can party again."
The 2021/2022 Winter Semester at the JKU will take place mostly on-site and in-person. The current safety protocols and mandates are as follows:
- Compliance with Austria’s current “3G Rule” (tested - recovered - vaccinated) in order to attend class and/or take examinations.
- To facilitate the procedure, there are four central check-in stations around the JKU campus (and one at the MED Campus) to check compliance with the “3G Rule”.
- After checking compliance with the “3G Rule”, students will receive a wristband to be shown before the start of class or examinations. Each day of the week, the wristbands will be a different color but always one color per day, showing the wearer has been checked. The wristbands do not provide any information as to whether the wearer has been tested, is recovered or is vaccinated.
- Wearing an FFP2 (KN-95) face mask is mandatory during class and during exams.
- This will ensure full occupancy in lecture halls and classrooms.
- The JKU also offers a comprehensive vaccination and testing program. During Welcome Week, a pop-up vaccination clinic was available on campus at the Kepler Hall. The official JKU Screening Station is located behind the LIT Open Innovation Center offering rapid antigen testing free of charge during weekdays (7:00 - 9:00 a.m.).
- In order to attend student parties that are traditionally organized by the Student Union as well as other student groups, students must adhere to the “2G Rule” (vaccinated or recovered from Covid). This is a rule that is already in force in Vienna at restaurants and clubs that operate late at night.