In-person classes to resume in fall term


Qiyu Zhong

A view of the empty street on campus next to the Nott memorial.

On June 30, in a campus-wide email, President David Harris announced that Union will open to all students for the Fall term in September.  In the biggest shake-up to the college terms since Spring term, Union students will be given the option on whether to return to campus, or to take a remote term, with a smaller amount of classes offered.

In the announcement, it was explained that all first year students will be coming to campus, in order to “create community.” By default, first year students will be placed into single-occupancy rooms, but will be  able to choose to live in a double if they wish to do so.The in person orientation is also set to take place for the class of 2024  in the first week of September.

Community Engagement will be made available for students who are not returning to campus to take part in. Minervas Online will be an opportunity to learn from “unique perspectives” in order to “develop solutions to large-scale societal problems.” As well, an expanded program of Experiential Learning will be offered that will provide students the opportunity to “immerse themselves in service, an internship, or other meaningful opportunities to engage and learn” at a time with overwhelming political and social change”. The Robert J. Moser ’99 Experiential Learning Award will be provided to those pursuing these experiences while being guided by a faculty advisor.

In a webinar held on July 2, panelists President Harris, Fran’Cee Brown-McClure; Vice President for Student Affairs, Strom Thacker; Vice president for Academic Affairs and Michele Gibson; Vice President for Administration & Finance shared further information about what Fall term may look like. Dean Fran’Cee, stressed on a much harder stance on off-campus events and gatherings. She emphasized that students must ask themselves whether they can handle the new environment at Union before they commit to returning on campus. During the discussion it was repeatedly reminded that the college will be enforcing social distancing guidelines rigorously and students will face disciplinary action on failure in complying with the new rules. 

Masks will be compulsory in all spaces besides one’s own dorm room and dorm rooms will have stricter entry policies with students being barred from hosting any guests. Areas of high traffic will have plexi-glass installed for minimum contact and all public gathering will be limited to under 30 people at once. 

All students will be mandated to fill out a form recording their temperature everyday. Students will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on camp

us and weekly afterwards. According to President Harris, more information will be shared in multiple townhall over the next few weeks.