Thursday, July 9, 2020

UIS offers detailed plan for students returning to campus in fall

The University of Illinois Springfield on Wednesday detailed how it hopes students might safely return to the campus for fall semester classes in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 18-page plan, “Return to the Prairie,” addresses how the campus will offer “on-ground,” or in-person classes as well as blended classes, that combine face-to-face and remote instruction.

It also spells out plans for student living arrangement and on-campus activities.

Of note is that the university will go remote with all classes beginning Nov. 25 until the end of the semester, which is Dec. 12.

Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth will be required on campus when a six-foot physical distance from others is not possible. Face coverings are required in all common areas, which includes classrooms.

“It is our best intention to unite us in public health and safety, and we are committed to providing a high-quality experience regardless of the circumstances in which we may find ourselves,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “Whether our Prairie Stars are learning via on-campus instruction or remotely, UIS is committed to and capable of providing a high-quality university experience to everyone who calls UIS home.”

Classrooms and laboratories, along with common, meeting and event spaces will be set up and organized to facilitate appropriate social distancing. They will be cleaned and disinfected daily by building service workers.

Students will be allowed to live on campus in single and double occupancy residence halls, townhouses and apartments, however, guests will not be allowed in residence halls.

Carry-out options will be encouraged at the UIS Student Union Food Studio and no self-service options available. Seating in dining areas will be arranged to encourage social distancing.

COVID-19 testing will be available to all students on campus through Campus Health Services.

The “Return to the Prairie” plan was created by two teams focused on academic planning, student affairs and community engagement.

Classes at UIS begin Aug. 24.