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State confirms Seton Hall’s hybrid restart plan as other colleges backtrack

Seton Hall’s Re-opening Operations Team (ROOT) announced Friday that New Jersey has confirmed its restart plan, a draft of which was published by The Setonian on July 14.

The 69-page restart plan outlines how instruction, housing, dining and many other aspects of campus life will function this fall, but will only go into effect if New Jersey moves to stage three of its reopening process. The state has yet to provide a clear timeline for stage three reopening.

A pedestrian tunnel sits empty underneath the Walsh Library during the Spring 2020 semester. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

“As Seton Hall has done since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the University has incorporated the latest public health data and expert guidance into its preparations,” University spokesperson Laurie Pine said. “The restart plan outlines modifications to academic programs and student life and includes protocols for safe classroom and working environments, among other improvements and enhancements.”

The plan expands on the “Hybrid Flexible” system of learning, with some students in class and others online, that was announced by the University in May.

A summary of the plan’s contents can be found here.

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The plan comes after the N.J. Department of Education announced guidelines for reopening the state’s public schools, requiring that they be open in some capacity for the fall semester, with a remote learning option available for all students.

Other universities nationwide have been reexamining their fall plans, with some walking back their original plans to reopen. According to Higher Education research firm Simpson Scarborough, 57% of four-year institutions plan to return for in-person classes, down 9% since July 1.

Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. announced July 13 that its fall semester would be completely online, despite a June announcement that campus would be open. Dickinson blamed testing delays and a rise in coronavirus cases nationwide for the reversal.

“We have come to the very difficult decision that the fall 2020 semester will be remote,” a press release from Dr. Margee Ensign, President of Dickinson College said. “We will bring back only a small number of students for on-campus residence.”

Rhode Island College in Providence, Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, Calif., and Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. all announced reversals of their plans for an in-person semester on Friday.

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


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