Spring 2021 picture gets clearer for Edinboro students and faculty

Category:  News
Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 2:19 PM

On Sept. 26, Edinboro University began unveiling its plans for the Spring 2021 semester through an email from President Dr. Guiyou Huang. The update revealed two big changes to the calendar: a bumped semester start date and no planned spring break. 

The original spring 2021 semester start date was slated for Jan. 13 but has been pushed to Jan. 25. EU Vice President for Marketing and Communications Angela Burrows said, “The decision to bump the start date for the spring semester was based on a number of factors, the most significant one being that we wanted to allow enough distance between the holidays, when students, faculty and staff will be participating in larger gatherings with family and friends, and a return to campus.”  

Burrows noted the decision to eliminate spring break was also based on cited surges in COVID-19 cases across the country last year after students had traveled during their time off. 

These changes to the academic calendar, made by the university’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), don’t yet address whether or not there will be an in-person commencement ceremony in the spring. It is tentatively set for May 8, a week later than the initial schedule stated. “It is too early for those conversations,” said Burrows. “We’ll monitor the COVID situation throughout the spring semester and make a determination when it is safe to do so.” 

While the campus is currently limited to 175 residents and few in-person classes, in-person activity will be increased in the spring. According to the recent “State of the University” address, in which Huang primarily spoke, EU will allow 594 students living on campus, and an increase of in-person classes from 15% (of all classes) to roughly 33%. 

Our students have been doing an excellent job of adhering to guidelines established to keep our campus community safe,” said Burrows. There have only been four positive COVID cases logged through the fall semester in the student population. 

Previously, Huang stated in an interview with The Spectator that a vaccine is a priority item for a full on-campus return. Burrows said there are a number of additional items for consideration and the university will continue looking at them “over the coming months.” 

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

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