EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Michigan State University officials have announced their plans for the Spring semester.
During the fall semester, only around 40 classes were held in-person, but in the Spring, the university is allowing 400 classes to be in-person.
More students will also be able to live in on-campus housing. Currently, only about 2,000 students live in residential halls. Around 2,500 more students will be allowed to move on campus in the spring. Typically, around 14,500 students will live in on-campus housing.
School officials say they’re more worried about what’s happening off-campus.
“Most of the outbreaks, or if not all the outbreaks associated with MSU are the result of small and large social gatherings,” said spokesperson for MSU, Dan Olsen.
Students and staff going to campus for classes or anything else in-person, will also have to participate in a Covid-19 early detection program. They’ll have to take a saliva test to detect if they have the virus.
“You spit into a tube and then they give that tube to someone who runs it through a laboratory machine in order to detect, it allows them to do a lot lot more, a whole lot faster and a whole lot more frequently,” said health officer with the Ingham County Health Department, Linda Vail.
Spring break will also be canceled at MSU for undergrads. Other Big Ten schools, such as the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, are also canceling spring break.
Olsen says “a key way to reduce the spread of covid-19 is to reduce our travel, unnecessary travel, so that was a factor we wanted to take into consideration, is that how do we protect not only our students but our surrounding community and other communities throughout the state and country.”
Vail agrees and says it wouldn’t be a good idea to allow a spring break. “Traveling somewhere is not a good idea, you know spring break is usually let’s all go down to Florida and be at beaches and be at parties and it’s just not a good idea.”
Olsen says they understand how important spring break can be for students mentally. During the Spring semester, there will be three midweek days without classes spread throughout the semester to provide breaks for students.
Vail believes that not having Spring break is a smart choice.
“At this point in time, I don’t know if we see things being a whole lot different between now and when spring break would happen so that’s a cautious approach to take right now because I don’t think we’re going to be in a whole lot different environment then, than we are right now,” Vail added.
Classes for undergrads will end April 23rd and finals will be held a week early. Graduation ceremonies will also be a week long.