East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr said in a letter to students today the university is asking undergrad students who planned to live in MSU residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely.
Stanley Jr. cited the current state of the pandemic in the U.S., namely the rise in outbreaks at other universities amid the start of fall semester. A New York Times report from July 29 found that more than 6,600 COVID-19 cases have been linked to U.S. colleges, including 20 cases at MSU.
In the letter, he wrote: “it has become evident to me that, despite our best efforts and strong planning, it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus.”
He said refunds or credits will be issued to individuals who have already paid for the fall semester.
There will be some exceptions for the colleges of Law, Human Medicine, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine as well as all graduate programs. Those colleges and programs will learn more details soon. Stanley Jr. said research will continue and the university will work with their international students on their student visa status and those needing labs, studios and performance-based classes that are required for graduation.
President Stanley Jr. is also encouraging students living off-campus to consider staying in their home communities if that is a safer option for students.
“This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, but the safety of our campus community must be our paramount concern,” Stanley Jr. said. “Please know that we are making choices based on reliable public health data, updates from local and state officials and our understanding of the science and research available to us on the novel coronavirus.”
Undergraduate classes begin September 2 remotely.