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UConn announces initial re-opening plan for fall semester

President Thomas Katsouleas announced the school’s proposed plans to bring students back on-campus for the fall semester.

Daniel Connolly - The UConn Blog

The University of Connecticut is planning to be on campus for the fall semester up until Thanksgiving break. From there, students will not return to campus and complete the semester online, according to a mass email from President Thomas Katsouleas.

Nothing is finalized until a Board of Trustees meeting on June 30. All of the following details are apart of the draft that has been released. It is not set in stone.

Katsouleas said the school will be offering classes as fully in-person, fully online or a mix of the two while on campus. Once students go home for the semester for Thanksgiving, the rest of the classes will be transitioned to online — including final exams.

Note that there has been no mention of classes being accelerated, like they have been at Syracuse University. The schedule remains the same, but the location and size of the classes are what are changing.

Class sizes and residence hall capacity will both be reduced to allow for the recommended six foot distance between people. Every person on campus will be required to wear a mask in public places, including classrooms. The university said they will provide masks to every person on campus, should they need one.

There will be designated directions on paths for walking, like many stores have currently. Both the Storrs and Stamford campuses will be open.

Every student returning to campus will be required to come to school approximately two weeks before the August 31 start date to be tested and will remain on campus throughout the two weeks. As for faculty, more details are to come as to how they will handle testing, but Katsouleas said it will be on a scale based on priority.

According to the Reopening UConn website, students who cannot go home after Thanksgiving will be allowed to remain on campus for the rest of the scheduled semester, but they cannot go home over break.

Other schools, including Syracuse and all of the other state schools in Connecticut schools, have forwarded a similar plan of returning on time and leaving before Thanksgiving.

As far as campus services, the website also notes that housing and dining fees will not change due to the shortened semester. Dining halls will continue to do take-out only as they were for those still on campus following spring break, when classes were originally moved to online.

The library and recreation center will be open, but at reduced capacity to encourage social distancing. The Student Union is “currently being evaluated” for how they are planning to use it, per the website.