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Mason Korea prepares for safe opening of campus amid coronavirus pandemic

September 17, 2020   /   by Anna Stolley Persky

George Mason University Korea has been preparing its campus for opening safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Mason Korea’s Emergency, Health and Safety team recently launched a #PatriotProtection campaign to inform students about the safety protocols and building access guidelines created to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The safety protocols include temperature checks, social distancing and mask wearing.

Mason Korea’s semester began on Aug. 24 with virtual classes because of a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in South Korea. At this point, Mason Korea is set to bring students back to in-person classes, in modified form, on Oct. 16. When students return, they will be expected to follow all safety protocols as established in a video they are required to view.

“Mason Korea students in my experience tend to have ‘esprit de corps,’ and this leads me to believe that they will comply with the guidelines we have outlined for the safety of the overall community,” said Gbemi A. Disu, chief business officer for Mason Korea. “I hope they have an attitude of resilience and positivity that is needed to navigate this challenging academic year.”

Disu developed the #PatriotProtection campaign to remind the Mason Korea community of the importance of having a shared sense of purpose during the pandemic.

“To paraphrase an African proverb, if you want to go far, go together,” said Disu. “We need everyone to work together and have that Patriot Pride to protect each other and avoid engaging in behaviors that will put our community at risk.”

Mason Korea was established in 2014 as part of the Incheon Global Campus, an education hub in Northeast Asia. Located in Songdo-dong, Mason Korea offers U.S. degrees in five undergraduate disciplines, including business, global affairs and computer game design.

Students who attend Mason Korea spend three years in Songdo-dong and one year at Mason’s Fairfax location. In addition, since 2014, more than 200 students from the U.S. campus have studied at Mason Korea either for a semester or a year.

Mason Korea started with 34 students enrolled in 2014. This year, Mason Korea has almost 700 students enrolled at the school.

“Even during this time of crisis, our enrollment at Mason Korea is growing,” said Kelley Chung, associate dean of admissions and enrollment management. “The quality of our degrees, our student-centric approach and Korea’s effective management of the pandemic has made us very attractive, and students want to come here.”