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Saturday, January 29, 2022

MSU will hold classes remotely to start spring semester

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Michigan State University will offer most classes remotely in the first three weeks of the upcoming spring semester, according to two emails sent to teachers and students on December 29.

According to the emails, the decision was based on a spike in COVID-19 cases in Michigan and across the United States.

“I know this news will be received with mixed feelings, and I thank you for your dedication to academic excellence and student success during these times,” Vice Chancellor Theresa Woodruff wrote in the email. “I am pleased to respond to questions you may have later today after reviewing the President’s note.”

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Certain areas, such as academic and research laboratories, music education, and some health education and internships, are permitted to be conducted in person at the discretion of the staff. Students should expect to hear from their professors in the coming weeks in more detail.

Although classes move online, on-campus housing will open, meaning students will still be allowed to live in residence halls. Students are not required to return to campus, and can decide whether they want to complete the first few weeks from their home or on-campus.

For students who decide to return, dining and dining options will be available in the dining halls.

Recreational and performing arts facilities, such as the Wharton Center and instant messaging facilities, will remain open.

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That’s a reflection of previous messages from MSU officials, where the university previously said they were preparing to start in person this spring.

“I have promised that we will continue to monitor the situation in mid-Michigan and beyond for any changes in the pandemic that require new measures,” President Stanley wrote in an email to the Michigan State University community. “In the 48 hours since this note was issued, an increase in cases has been reported, presumably due to the Omicron variant, with Michigan reaching an all-time high of cases per day.”

President Stanley asked employees to consider their current working arrangements and encouraged supervisors to consider “allowing remote work where possible given operational needs.”

Those currently enrolled in the Early Detection Program must “resume testing upon arrival in the East Lansing area”.

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Over the coming weeks, President Stanley and his leadership team will review case numbers and other COVID-19 trends to determine whether to implement additional safety measures, according to the email.

There will also be additional information to be shared about vaccine and booster requirements. Students, faculty, and staff are still required to receive a booster if and when they qualify.

This is an evolving story. Stay with State News for updates.

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