EU unveils detailed spring 2021 plans, including housing, food, activities, more

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 10:13 AM
EU unveils detailed spring 2021 plans, including housing, food, activities, more by Kimberly Firestine
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Edinboro University has unveiled more spring 2021 semester plans, headlined by more students being allowed on campus — both in residential and classroom capacities.

Additional changes to campus operations will include dining, use of the fitness center, and club sports, to name a few.

Course delivery 

This spring, Edinboro will be offering an increased number of in-person classes, accompanied by multi-modal delivery (delivering in-person and online simultaneously) and limits on students allowed in the classroom. As an example, the spring 2021 planning website states, “Classes with an experiential component (e.g., labs) may be offered through a combination of in-person and online instruction.” In-person offerings will also be held in larger rooms and students will be assigned seats. Finally, the university will again require students to monitor their daily health with the EU Shield self-assessment tool. From there, they “may be required to show the results of their self-assessment as they enter in-person classroom spaces.” 

Activities, events and club sports 

At this point, any activity, event or club sport considered by the university to be “low risk” will be open to all Edinboro students in the spring semester. For example, “snow shoeing, table tennis, billiards” is listed under low-risk recreational activities. Participants and attendees will be required to follow all university-sanctioned mitigation efforts, such as the COVID-19 self-assessment, wearing masks and practicing proper hygiene. 

Similarly, the fitness center in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center will be open to all students in spring, but reservations must be made in advanced. Michelle Ritzel, Edinboro’s interim dean of student engagement, noted that while the university hasn’t decided on the scheduling process, it may require use of a new reservation program.  

“Having extended hours for the spring will help mitigate the wait time, but we want to be prepared if we have an influx of students desiring to work out and [then] following the appropriate cleaning necessary,” she said. 

Dining 

The fall 2020 semester saw dining limited to just a few offerings within Pogue: The Absurd Bird, Scotland Road Subs and Salads, the Culinary Table, and grab-and-go items. For spring 2021, students will be able to also utilize the Celtic Court and Cyber Café in Pogue, the On the Go in Ross Hall, and the Starbucks in the Baron-Forness Library. The Van Houten Dining Hall will remain closed.  

The university has already implemented several safety precautions in these dining areas, such as an arrangement of seating for distance, cashless payments and designated entrance and exit areas. 

Residence halls 

Perhaps one of the biggest changes for the spring semester is the increase of students permitted to live on campus: 559. This number does not include resident assistants and graduate assistants, and it’s an increase from fall’s 175. All students will still have their own room and bathroom, but are now allowed to have suitemates if requested. The planning website also says students will receive a $450 “COVID discount” on “all room costs.” 

According to Edinboro’s Vice President for Marketing and Communications Angela Burrows, the university sought advice from tentative PASSHE partner Clarion University, who had students living in suites during the fall semester. “Given what we learned, we are confident we can make it work in the spring, while simultaneously doing everything we can to ensure students’ health and safety,” she said. 

Priority housing for fall 2020 was given to international students and students with an in-person experiential learning requirement that live more than 50 miles from campus. For spring, first choice goes to students already living on campus that fell into the previous requirements, along with athletes, and students not currently living on campus that fulfill the fall 2020 requirements. Then, all other students requesting housing are considered, with priority given to freshmen and seniors. 

Students will, once again, be required to do a health screening and temperature checks upon move-in. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will provide students with time slots for move-in. Students are limited to bringing two guests to help them move. 

Those wishing to live on campus for the spring 2021 semester can begin applying for housing, according to the following dates: 

  • Oct. 26 – Fall 2020 on-campus students with spring 2021 required experiential learning with an address over 50 miles from campus. 
  • Oct. 26 – International students and athletes (priority to seniors and first year students). 
  • Nov. 2 – Students with spring 2021 required experiential learning with an address over 50 miles from campus. 
  • Nov. 4 – all other students (priority to seniors and first-year students). 

The planning website also notes: “The Campus Bookstore has partnered with Barnes and Noble to supply textbooks to Edinboro University students. Textbooks can ONLY be ordered online. At checkout, you will be offered the choice to have your textbooks shipped (off-campus) or to be picked up in the bookstore (during limited hours).”

There is no update yet on what the Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies will look like.

Kimberly Firestine is the Executive Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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