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George Washington University to conduct spring semester online

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“Managing this pandemic has called on us all to do our part to keep the community healthy and safe, and to support one another through these difficult decisions,” officials said in an email to the university community.

University leaders considered the spread of the virus, the school’s ability to house students safely and feedback from the community as they weighed the possibility of reopening the campus, according to the announcement.

Based on current conditions, the school said it is also unlikely commencement will be held in person in May.

GWU President Thomas J. ­LeBlanc told the Faculty Senate on Friday the spring semester “will look a lot like it looks right now,” according to the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper. Most classes are being taught remotely; exceptions have been made for a handful of courses that require research or in-person instruction.

The campus has reported 29 positive virus cases since August, the school’s testing dashboard shows. About 500 students are living on campus instead of the usual population of between 6,500 and 6,800 students, Maralee Csellar, a campus spokeswoman, said. Next semester, the university may expand housing, but it will depend on additional health and safety assessments, Csellar said.

Officials do not expect new cuts because of Friday’s announcement. And tuition discounts offered to most undergraduate students this fall will remain, the school said.

Hundreds of students and employees are urging the president to resign. More than a thousand students, staff, faculty and alumni have pledged to stop donating until LeBlanc is replaced, said Gaurav Gawankar,

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The First Semester of College Has Never Been Stranger

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Elle Fleenor didn’t know a soul when she first set foot on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis — wearing a mask, of course — and hunkered down for two weeks of quarantine.

She attended orientation and lectures on Zoom, picked up food from the dining hall to eat in her room, and barely interacted with anyone beyond her dorm building’s walls.

Ms. Fleenor, a first-year student from Scottsburg, Ind., knew college wouldn’t be what she had imagined. But she wasn’t prepared for how the precautions her school was taking to slow the spread of the coronavirus would complicate her efforts to make friends, and how isolated that would make her feel.

Sometimes, she said, she would meet someone in an online class but wouldn’t recognize the person later wearing a mask around campus.

“It’s been very hard, very lonesome,” Ms. Fleenor said. “As a freshman, being hit with all this is extremely difficult.”

Across the country, millions of first-year students are adjusting to college during a pandemic. That means classes conducted mostly online, dinners in dorm rooms and a hard time getting to know professors and peers. Some look forward to fleeting moments to be with others, like elevator rides. Others force themselves to take walks to be sure they see sunlight.

The first semester of college is challenging even in normal times, as students get used to being away from home, their families and lifelong friends. This year, psychologists and other experts fear that the necessary precautions taken by colleges and universities, many of them coronavirus hot spots, will increase the loneliness and isolation.

“We’re receiving recommendations and restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the virus that also limit our ability to connect with others,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham

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West Chester University To Stay Remote Into Spring Semester

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WEST CHESTER, PA — West Chester University officials announced today that spring semester classes will continue with remote instruction, a move they say is precautionary with a view to a predicted second wave of the coronavirus.

“With the nation continuing to experience spikes in COVID-19 and scientists predicting a new surge due to cold weather, West Chester University is taking extra precautions to protect the community from a forecasted second wave of the virus by continuing remote and some hybrid (meaning both remote and in-person) academic instruction through the spring semester,” the university said in a media release Wednesday morning.

The university made the announcement this week in order to allow students and their families to plan as they soon being selecting their spring semester courses.

“Continuing remote instruction through spring 2021 will ensure that WCU students will be able to earn credits for academic degrees in an uninterrupted manner,” said West Chester University President Christopher Fiorentino.

“There is not enough information on the availability of rapid testing or a vaccine on a sufficient scale for us to be confident enough to announce and plan for a spring semester that includes a return to in-person instruction,” he added.

The university said it will continue to provide COVID-19 relief credits to both in-state and out-of-state students, full-time and part-time, for spring 2021, which will lower the total combined costs of tuition and fees.

Spring 2021 instruction will be delivered via Zoom Conferencing, Skype, email, and a variety of other remote modes of course delivery as determined by WCU faculty, much like it was delivered in fall. Some courses will continue to be offered in a hybrid format (both remote and in-person) to assist students with clinical placements, student teaching, performance obligations, internship sites, and similar academic responsibilities.

“Universities across the State

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Kent State University pushes spring break to April, will go remote for rest of spring semester

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KENT, Ohio — Kent State University has moved its 2021 spring break from March 29-April 4 to April 12-18, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Afterward, all classes will be remote, through final exams May 6-12. The idea is to keep students and staff safe after a week of travel.

The school notified students and faculty Thursday, not long after Ohio State canceled its spring break. Kent State had 31 new COVID-19 cases the week of Sept. 20, according to its coronavirus dashboard. The school has had 125 total cases since July 7.

Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs, said in a news release that information about dining plans and residence halls for the spring semester will be coming soon.

“We wanted to make sure that students would have a break,” Van Dulmen told cleveland.com. “We know that a lot of students across the country really struggle with stress, anxiety, and it’s a very difficult time. So we wanted to figure out whether we could find a way to still give students a spring break, but not have students travel back and forth.”

Kent State is managing its spring break similar to how it’s handling Thanksgiving for the fall semester. The university will have no classes the week of the holiday and then go fully remote the rest of the semester. Van Dulmen thinks students will appreciate how the university is handling spring break.

The university’s spring course schedule will be available Oct. 5, and a mix of in-person and virtual classes will be offered. Registration begins Oct. 21.

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Boston University students busted for violating coronavirus gathering rules could get suspended for semester

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Boston University students busted for violating the university’s coronavirus gathering rules over the weekend could get suspended for the fall semester.

The disciplinary hearings for 20 BU students after they were caught partying outdoors on campus comes in the wake of 11 Northeastern University students getting dismissed for violating social distancing rules.

The 20 BU students allegedly drinking in West Campus — in “the grotto” next to Nickerson Field — could face a semester-long suspension, the BU administration’s website reported.

“There were 25-plus people with alcohol, close together, with no masks or their masks pulled down around their chin,” Dean Kenneth Elmore told BU Today.

“This weekend’s alleged violations are violations of the expectations we set out for this academic year,” Elmore added. “The alcohol use in public and under legal drinking age, public noise disturbance, and the notion that the police had to respond all exacerbate the matter.”

The student disciplinary hearings are expected to be completed this week.

“The possible consequences include a semester-long suspension with no refund for tuition or room and board or a deferred suspension, which means they would be suspended if they incur a second disciplinary infraction of any kind,” the BU administration’s website wrote.

The same weekend that the BU students got caught partying on campus, Salem State University students were busted for violating coronavirus gathering rules.

The Salem students who attended two unrelated apartment parties will be cited by public health officials for the violations.

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