Tuesday morning, members of the Valpo community received an email from President Mark Heckler, informing them that classes are intended to resume in-class instruction for the fall 2020 semester.
“We reached this determination after much conversation and consideration while continuing to monitor state and national reopening activities and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Heckler said in the email.
Over the coming weeks, the University will continue to prepare campus for returning students, faculty and staff. There are task forces with members from all across campus that will meet and discuss the best options for returning to campus.
One thing that is being discussed by the Academic Affairs Scenario Planning Group is modifications to the fall academic calendar. This could include moving the start date of the fall semester.
Notre Dame University, another school returning back to their campus this fall, will be starting classes two weeks earlier, and ending classes by Thanksgiving.
Another team, the Incident Command Team, is tasked with reviewing the safety recommendations set by the CDC and local and state health authorities. This can include guidelines for social distancing, group settings, sanitization and facial coverings.
Valpo community members will be expected to follow safety and health precautions, as the health of students, faculty and staff is important.
“The health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff -- as well as our ability to remain on campus in the fall -- depends on a mutual commitment to keeping ourselves and each other as healthy as possible,” read the email.
While it is not said whether community members will be required to wear facial coverings, the email mentioned “that the return to campus will require us all to adapt to new expectations, in the classroom, in our residence halls, and around campus.”
As this leaves some things unclear, Heckler recognizes that people still might have questions. In the email, he assured community members that within the next few days and weeks, more information will be shared.
The University is focused on maintaining safety and wellbeing of the Valpo community. They plan to make the reopening of campus as for the fall semester as safe as possible, so that everyone may return.
The Torch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.