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MSU moving back to a “more typical” semester in fall

The announcement was made in a letter to students, staff and faculty.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 1:57 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Friday Michigan State University (MSU) President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. announced that the university will be returning to a fall semester that will involve largely in-person learning. The announcement was made in a letter to students, staff and faculty.

“I am pleased to share that the university is planning for a more typical fall semester, with 75% of undergraduate classes offered in person,” Stanley wrote.

Classes will be offered in multiple scenarios that includes in-person, hybrid and some online, in particular those that would traditionally fill large lecture halls. The university said they expect there to be routine mitigation testing and other public health policies in place at some level in the fall, stressing that everyone will need to follow them.

“Making decisions now about the future of our university is not an easy task, as the pandemic has shown us,” Stanley wrote. “However, with vaccinations continuing to progress, we are optimistic that we can begin to safely transition during the summer and move toward more in-person experiences in the fall — all while continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

As of Friday the university is planning to 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 Stanley stressed in the letter that they would still 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. Current university-related travel restrictions will be adapted to location-based guidance.

For those students in the summer 2021 semester, the situation will be very different.

Most summer classes will be online (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.

The university will also be restarting in-person campus tours this month, and those will continue throughout the summer.

In his letter, President Stanley noted that some CRRSA funding would go to student financial aid grants.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that this pandemic has taken a toll on our physical and mental well-being, and it has put financial strain on many,” Stanley wrote. “The economic impact has yet to be fully realized, but I am encouraged by the fact that we 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 will share more information on that in the coming weeks.”

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