Education

Michigan State University Flip-Flopped Decision On In-Person Classes Two Weeks Before Semester Begins

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Jake Dima Contributor
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Michigan State University (MSU), two weeks prior to the institution’s fall start date, announced on Tuesday that in-person learning has been cancelled for undergraduates and that students planning to live on campus may have to stay home.

“But given the current status of the virus in our country — particularly what we are seeing at other institutions as they re-populate their campus communities — it has become evident to me that, despite our best efforts and strong planning, it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus,” MSU president Samuel Stanley said in the announcement.

“So, effective immediately, we are asking undergraduate students who planned to live in our residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely,” he continued.

Classes are set to begin on Sept. 2 and the university claims the online-only teaching protocol will be ready by the start date, the announcement read. MSU also urges students planning on living in off-campus properties to remain in their home communities as they are “a safer place,” Stanley wrote.

Exceptions to the remote-only ruling will be made for graduate students in programs such as law, veterinary work and human medicine, according to the release. MSU will offer refunds for students who have already pre-paid the fall semester and will continue to allow students who use the university as their primary residence and who are currently staying in dorm to remain on campus, the announcement detailed.

Michigan has nearly 94,000 cases of the virus with 6,340 deaths, according to the state’s department of health. Ingham County, which houses the university, has 1590 cases, data shows. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: University Of Minnesota Medical School Application Features Question About George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks)

Michigan ranks 19th in cases confirmed in the U.S., according to Center for Disease Control data.

Schools in Georgia, Indiana and Mississippi were forced to close mere days into re-opening to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to the New York Times.

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