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University announces new details around fall reopening

Seton Hall President Dr. Joseph Nyre has announced new details of the planned return to campus on Wednesday.

Nyre discussed limits to classroom capacity, density reductions in residence halls, and plans to dedicate one residence hall for quarantining unwell students in an interview with The Asbury Park Press.

Seton Hall President Joseph Nyre unveiled new plans on Wednesday about reopening in the fall, including details about reduced dorm capacities. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

“No matter what guidelines the state puts out, we’ll meet them,” Nyre said in the interview.

Nyre confirmed that the “hybrid flexible” reopening will involve a portion of students videoconferencing into classes, though it is unclear whether this will be on a voluntary basis or on a rotating schedule.

“We’ve mapped out 50% and 70% [reductions in capacity], and 6-foot social distancing mechanics to see how many students we can put in a classroom.”

Nyre plans to reduce density in residence halls, regardless of whether state regulations require such a reduction. It is unclear what a reduction in housing density would entail.

He also announced plans to use one residence hall to house ill students. It is unclear if the residence hall will be closed to healthy students and how this building would be managed safely.

“We’ll have one residence hall to isolate students who are unwell or quarantined,” Nyre said.

Nyre declined to specify which residence hall would be used as quarantine housing.

Nyre said he was uncertain if masks would be required on campus in the fall. 

“We’ll put guidelines out, and some things will be mandated,” Nyre said. “We’re going to orient all students and employees.”

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It is unclear when this guidance will be made available to students.

Nyre also discussed plans to make social distancing possible in the cafeteria.

“We’ve created additional space so we can spread students out,” Nyre said. “All utensils will be wrapped. Depending on where we are [with regards to requirements for food providers], food may be boxed or plated.”
For sports, Nyre indicated that the restart of the men’s basketball season will depend on the Prudential Center’s ability to reopen.

These new details come after the University announced plans on May 22 to allow students to return to campus in the fall.

The University did not respond to a request for comment.

Daniel O’Connor can be reached at Find him on Twitter @ItsDanOConnor.


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