On Wednesday, the Office of President Clark sent out an email with an updated plan for how the school has decided to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic next semester.
In the email, it’s noted that BSU continues to strive to put the health and safety of students and staff above all else. In order to do this, our next semester is going to look a lot like this one – online.
Some new changes have been implemented as well, starting with the semester calendar. The spring semester will be starting one week later than we’re used to, on January 27, 2021, but the semester will still end on time. In addition to the 1-week push back, spring break has been canceled and a “wellness day” has been introduced for Friday, March 12, 2021. This day was implemented in order to give students a “mental health break during the spring semester”, according to the email. Due to the Student Government Association’s request, the administration is asking faculty not to assign additional coursework on this day.
In terms of how classes will run, most classes will be held remotely. The exceptions include science labs, studio and performing arts, and some seminar and capstone courses, these classes will be a blended format of online and in-person lectures. Based on feedback from students, BSU is committing to increase the number of synchronous formats in order to “replicate an in-person classroom experience”.
Academic support will still be available along with a possible increase of study spaces on campus. Plus, students living on campus will be able to stay and those who want to move onto campus for the spring will also have that option. Students living on campus will be tested for COVID-19 at the time they move in and at least every 2 weeks throughout the remainder of the semester. Tests will continue to be made available for everyone in the BSU community at no cost.
As for dining, BSU has committed to “offer a variety of indoor dining experiences so students can safely gather together as well as utilize convenient grab-and-go options.” Bear Bites food truck and BSU’s starship robots, a safe and secure food delivery service, will also be available next semester.
BSU is also offering more than $2 million dollars to assist students with any COVID-related emergency financial needs. This is in addition to the federal, state, and local financial aid some students already receive.
The email ended with a reminder of the rules BSU has put in place for this semester and the next. Those rules are as followed:
- Following BSU’s Bear Paw Pact
- Staying home when you are sick
- Maintaining physical distancing of six feet
- Wearing masks or face coverings at all times except when in residence hall rooms or eating in one of our dining halls
- Limiting the size of any social gatherings (based on state mandates)
- Participating in regular COVID-19 testing (for residence hall students and those in hybrid classes); and
- Assisting with COVID-19 tracing procedures
For more information and to keep up with any new information, please visit BSU’s COVID-19 website.