MSU plans 75% undergrad in-person classes for Fall 2021


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University officials say they plan to have 75 percent of undergrad classes back to in-person in Fall 2021. The university is also planning to allow more students to live on campus in the Fall and allowing some spectators at sporting events.

“We gotta try something, it’s better than nothing, I think a lot of students are eager to get back to campus,” said Terrance Lindsey, a senior at MSU.

“Just so our freshmen and incoming students can get a chance to enjoy and get the experience of college and everything so I feel like it’s time to get back to how it used to be,” said Alfonzo Washington, a junior at MSU.

“I think it’s a good move just because zoom fatigue is real, and we’re going to be vaccinated by next year hopefully so Covid won’t hopefully be spreading as much,” said Daniel Fox, a sophomore at MSU.

Classes will be offered in multiple scenarios — in person, hybrid and some still online, especially those that would traditionally fill large lecture halls.

“What we’re trying to evaluate right now is to make sure we don’t have any of those large 500 person lecture halls offered in person so how can we reduce the size down, maybe offer part of it online,” said Michigan State University spokesperson, Emily Guerrant.

75 percent of in-person classes is actually typical according to Guerrant.

“In the fall we usually would be around 80 percent to 85 percent in person so this is getting us a lot closer to what would be normal,” said Guerrant.

It’s not just the classroom where some restrictions will also be eased.

“We’re again optimistic that we’re going to be able to have spectators and fans at Spartan Stadium and cheering on our women’s volleyball team at the Jenison field house, it’s not just the students themselves we’re hoping to see more of, we also hope to see more of the community,” said Guerrant..

In a letter to faculty, staff and students, President Samuel Stanley Jr. wrote the following guidelines will be put in place for fall 2021:

  • We will offer a residence hall experience to first-year students and as many other students as possible while still providing a safe living space.
  • MSU Athletics is planning for fall events with spectators again, although we’ll be following state requirements and guidelines that will be in place at that time regarding attendance.
  • The Wharton Center and Broad Art Museum are planning events this fall.
  • Community-based activities will be permitted in alignment with local and state requirements and guidelines.
  • Our current university-related travel restrictions will be adapted to location-based guidance.
  • As we prepare for more students to be back on campus in the fall, we also will have more employees returning to in-person positions as well. More information will be coming from unit supervisors and leaders in the coming months.

Summer 2021 semester

  • Most summer classes will be online, which is MSU’s standard practice for summer sessions. Classes for labs and programs that require in-person interaction will continue.
  • There will be no large summer camps or events on campus. Nearly all of the conferences usually planned for MSU’s campus have chosen not to hold their events.
  • Limited day camps may occur, such as those that are primarily outdoors and are able to adhere to safety protocols.
  • We will have students living on campus this summer who are participating in classes, labs or who call MSU their home.
  • We are restarting in-person campus tours this month, and those will continue throughout the summer.

As of today, more than 2.4 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Michigan residents — 1.5 million residents have received their first dose and 880,000 are fully vaccinated.

The state of Michigan has a vaccine-finder application on its website that you can use when searching for locations to get the vaccine.

Starting March 22, Michigan residents 50 and older are eligible to receive it. While the state is not yet prioritizing higher education employees in the 1B “education” group. President Stanley said he continues to advocate for a change in that approach.

MSU President Stanley added that the economic impact has yet to be fully realized, but he is encouraged by the fact that MSU will be able to award approximately $15 million in student financial aid grants from funding made available to us under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in late December 2020.

“We’re very optimistic based on the feedback that we’re getting so far, that the Fall will look much more like a normal Fall for our students,” said Guerrant.

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