The University of Charleston has released its Return to Campus plan for Fall 2021. The University anticipates returning to full on-campus learning and social activities, lifting mask mandates for vaccinated students, lessening social distancing rules, and more.
UC will also be one of over 500 campuses across the country that will require its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus. If a student cannot get vaccinated before they return, there will be free clinics for students at the beginning of the semester. The school will consider medical exemptions.
“We have two main campus goals at UC – ensuring the health and safety of all of our students, faculty, and staff, and enabling students to achieve their personal and professional goals,” said UC President Marty Roth. “Having a vaccinated community allows us to achieve both of these goals while providing students with the most open and least restricted campus environment possible. The Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan exemplifies UC’s student-focused values and best enables us to achieve our mission.”
Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will not have to wear face coverings while on campus or participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. If they come into contact with someone known to have COVID-19, they will not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic. The vaccination requirement applies to both the Charleston and Beckley campuses.
“Although we managed to find innovative methods of teaching classes with the health and safety procedures in place, it will be wonderful returning to a more normal, and yet enhanced, learning experience,” said Nicky Bell, Health Promotion Program Director and Assistant Professor at UC. “I know as a professor it is always so powerful to be able to interact with students both verbally and non-verbally, and we will be able to do both more consistently moving forward. I personally look forward to, and delight in, the opportunity to see my students’ smiles.”
The university held to strict health and safety protocols for its students, faculty, and staff during the past academic year to be able to continue with in-seat classes, residential life, hold its annual EagleFest festivities and offer an in-person graduation. Its athletic teams were able to practice and compete.
“For many of us, some of our best college experiences occurred outside of the classroom, so we’re excited to move toward a more normal campus experience this fall,” said Virginia Moore, Vice President and Dean of Students at UC. “With health and safety as a top priority, we’re looking forward to offering many of the in-person activities that our students traditionally enjoy and missed last year, like Homecoming and Family Weekend, while still offering virtual experiences to maximize relationship-building opportunities.”
Further information is available on the UC website coronavirus information page:
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