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The University of Southern Indiana is this week starting car tours of the campus.

Since March, prospective students and their families have only been able to see the campus virtually. But Rashad Smith, the university's executive director for enrollment, wanted something more.

"I think it is important to remain flexible and offer alternatives for families who may want to experience campus but are not ready for a walking tour," he said. "We want to engage people in a way that's safe."

Each tour can take up to five cars. An admissions staffer will lead the way (in a sixth car) starting Wednesday. The tour will take about 45 minutes. And the cars will be connected via Zoom audio.

At stops at various points on campus (for views, not getting out of the car), the admissions representative will talk about residence life, academics, etc.

"They will be able to see the campus," Smith said.

"We’ve had a good response since our first announcement last night from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee, with the furthest reservation coming from five hours away," he said.

Beginning July 13, the university will resume on-campus walking tours. A number of safety measures have been put in place for safety. Some of the precautions include health screenings, social distancing, signage, hand-sanitizing stations and increased cleaning protocols. Size of groups will be limited, and face coverings are highly encouraged.

On a typical day, Southern Indiana gets 30 to 50 students (plus family members) on tours, with the number of students hitting 70 to 80 during peak times, Smith said.

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