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MSU to reopen campus: how will it work?

 Mixed feelings on Wednesday from MSU students about going back to campus this fall.  (Source: WILX)
Mixed feelings on Wednesday from MSU students about going back to campus this fall. (Source: WILX) (WILX)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 6:55 PM EDT
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How do you make social distancing work on a college campus with nearly 40,000 students?

That's the big question after MSU President Samuel Stanley announced students will return for the fall semester.

There are two main parts of MSU's plan.

News 10 already reported on part one, which is offering more online classes.

Part two is spreading out the in-person classes.

Reopen MSU Task Force Co-Chair Norm Beauchamp tells News 10 they'll do that by offering some classes before 8 A.M. and after 5 P.M., and maybe even on Saturdays.

They're also looking for ways to spread them out physically.

"We can start looking at things like teaching outside in tents, the pavilion," said Beauchamp. "The idea that we might have some classes that run later in the day, we'll be able to have classrooms that have a lot of density...students side by side."

Beauchamp says both students and teachers will be required to wear personal protection equipment for in-person classes.

And he says MSU will be able to test more students to help stay ahead of a potential second wave of coronavirus cases.

"We're confident that we have the capacity to test students if they become symptomatic as well as to do some of the contact tracing that will allow you to say, who else should we be worried about, and have a mechanism where we can quarantine those students," said Beauchamp.

Beauchamp tells me school officials and the Reopen MSU Task Force would not have planned to bring students back to campus if they weren't confident they could keep everyone safe.

In the letter to students and staff, President Stanley said classes will begin as scheduled on September 2nd.

All in-person classes will end on November 25th at Thanksgiving break.

Students will be able to finish the semester and take finals remotely.

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