Rowan University hosted an online webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to address student concerns about returning to school for the 2021 spring semester.
“Our semester will start a week later, and we will not have a spring break. I have seen some questions about breaks for mental health, and all things like that are certainly on the table and in the discussion,” said Anthony Lowman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
The semester will begin on Monday, Jan. 25, and Lowman stated that the first week of classes will be fully remote, which allows the school to get situated as students move in.
However, many online courses start Tuesday, Jan. 19; students in those courses will receive an email to remind them.
“Our plans as of today are that week two will begin labs and studios. Of course, that will be dictated by public health,” said Lowman. “We will be ready for the hands we are dealt and will continue to be more conservative towards the side of community safety.”
Students should revisit their schedules through the self-service banner to determine what mode of delivery their classes will have. Students can view the mode of delivery under the attributes section of each course.
For in-person classes, students must be present per directions given by the professor. For example, to uphold social distancing guidelines, your professor may create a rotating schedule to ensure students can abide by guidelines.
Virtual classes may eventually offer in-person courses; however, asynchronous online courses will remain as they always are.
All classes will react appropriately should a lockdown be placed. In the case of a lockdown, the school will provide the necessary amenities should students stay on campus.
Students must provide Rowan with a negative COVID-19 test within 10 days of returning to attend an in-person class or live on campus.
“Students can sign up to have a test kit sent to their home. They give the sample and return it to us. We also respect that some students want to use their provider and test option. There are directions online for how to do so,” said Dr. Kevin Koett, dean of students.
Also, residential students must take a mandatory bi-weekly test while on campus, which will not cost any additional money. This test will mostly be self-administered nasal swabs.
The Wellness Center can answer any questions regarding testing.
“We are going to be doing a lot more testing. When you think of the fall semester, we did somewhere around 4,000 tests, which is a lot, but I’m expecting somewhere in the range of 50,000 tests for the spring,” said Scott Woodside, director of the Wellness Center.
Meal plans will be similar to the last semester. Glassworks in Holly Pointe will serve students on a reservation basis, while Profs Place in the Chamberlain Student Center will be first come, first served. In addition, Rowan has grab and go options through the GrubHub app.
The Fitness Center on Victoria Street and the Rec Center pool will be open by appointment for the spring semester. Students can reserve a spot through the Campus Rec app. The Rec Center also offers virtual and in-person group fitness and intramural opportunities, which can be found on ProfLink.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Arielle Gedeon reminded seniors they must confirm their applications to graduate with their advisors.
According to Dr. Drew Tinnin, associate vice president of student affairs, preparations for the 2021 commencement will begin within the first weeks of the semester.
“We were able to have in-person commencement options last semester, and we learned from that. We were one of the first in the state to have it in-person,” said Tinnin. “Commencement may look a little differently than it did last year, but we are working to give you a great in-person option. Keep checking your email for more graduation announcements.”
Students are encouraged to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine through the state. However, there is limited information regarding who will have access to them.
“All I can say is that we do vaccines well. As soon as we can vaccinate populations on campus in larger numbers, we will. We’ve tested vaccination clinics on campus, so once they are widely available, we will vaccinate as many people as possible,” said Woodside.
Students will soon receive a survey aimed at evaluating the logistics of vaccine distribution. Based on what group you are in, the school will notify you when your time has come to receive the vaccine.
The full webinar is available on Rowan’s WebEx page.
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