Seton Hall cancels in-person instruction for remainder of semester

Seton Hall University will transition entirely to online classes for the remainder of the semester, effective Thursday, following a spike in coronavirus cases both on campus and statewide President Joseph Nyre announced in a campus-wide email. 

On Tuesday, the University saw its highest daily case count of the semester, recording 13 new cases of the virus for a total of 48 in the last two weeks. That same day, New Jersey also saw staggering new coronavirus numbers, clocking over 3,800 cases — 675 of which were reported in Essex County. 

Lawn chairs sit empty on the University Green on Oct. 24. The University will pivot to remote classes Thursday in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

“Following the University’s Restart Plan, combined with a careful and continued analysis of COVID-19 public health statistics, we are announcing that all three campuses will pivot to all-remote teaching and learning beginning on Thursday, November 12, 2020,” the email from Nyre’s office said.

The pivot comes just 13 days before the University initially planned to transition courses from the HyFlex model to online instruction to allow students to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday and stay there for the remainder of the semester.

The email said residence halls will remain open until the Thanksgiving break, and the University is “strongly” encouraging students to get tested by Health Services before they return home.

Starting Saturday, food services on the South Orange campus will be ‘grab-and-go’ only, according to the email.

Students with in-person laboratory sessions will be provided with additional details about any changes by their program directors, Nyre said. 

The update does not include details about potential changes to plans for the spring 2021 semester, which the University announced in October would also follow the HyFlex modality. 

“State regulations permitting, Seton Hall will continue to use the HyFlex teaching model during the spring 2021 semester as we continue to operate in a lower-density environment for the health and safety of our University community,” an October email from the Provost’s office said.

Nyre’s email did not include further details about case counts on the University’s campuses, but thanked the community for their efforts.

“We are grateful for the efforts of our entire University and all the work each of you has put into keeping our community safe as we arrive on the verge of the Thanksgiving holidays,” Nyre’s email said. “Your sacrifices demonstrate the resilience of the Seton Hall University community in so many ways.”

Nicholas Kerr can be reached at nicholas.kerr@student.shu.edu. Find him on Twitter @nickdotkerr.

Daniel O’Connor can be reached at daniel.oconnor1@student.shu.edu . Find him on Twitter @ItsDanOConnor. 

Author: Nicholas Kerr and Daniel O'Connor

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