Following a March move to remote learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wesleyan has released a detailed set of plans and launched a new Reactivating Campus website, which will serve as a key information hub for the campus community, as the University prepares to reopen to in-person instruction for the 2020 fall semester.
Wesleyan announced in mid-June that it intended to resume in-person classes on Aug. 31, pending the ongoing recommendations of University, state, and federal health and safety experts. With a promising current public health trajectory in Connecticut and in Middletown, the University’s pandemic planning group is continuing to refine plans for the coming semester and guiding Wesleyan through a series of gating checkpoints in accordance with state guidelines.
The Reactivating Campus web presence includes a variety of information on instruction and campus life, health and safety, and returning to work on campus. Of particular importance will be the developing Code of Conduct, which offers guidelines for how the campus community can practice and contribute to upholding proper health and safety measures. Additional sections of note include:
- Testing: Wesleyan’s Health Services will be engaging the Broad Institute to partner in administering a robust testing protocol for all students, faculty, and staff who are on campus, and every student will be tested upon arrival to campus and quarantined in their assigned residence until a negative test comes back.
- Academic Calendar: Classes will begin on August 31, one week earlier than initially scheduled.
- Student Charges and Financial Aid: Includes information on tuition, fees, financial aid, and more.
While the University continues to work through its reactivation plans, President Roth noted current surges in COVID-19 around the country, as well as a recent announcement from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that tightened restrictions around international student attendance. He made clear that the global pandemic remains a rapidly evolving situation, which could force the University to adjust its plans.
“Since our first priority is the health and safety of our community members, these plans may have to be adjusted in response to changing public health conditions,” President Roth wrote in an all-campus message. “Whatever these challenging conditions may be, we intend to provide an excellent educational experience (on campus or remotely).”
Community members are encouraged to consult the Reactivating Campus website for detailed information most relevant to their circumstances and to contact appropriate campus departments with further questions. Wesleyan plans to continually update the website with more information as it becomes available, and to send out another community message in August, or sooner depending on the public health trajectory.
“We believe in the value of an on-campus education, and the basic steps we need to take are clear,” President Roth noted in his message. “The simple act of wearing a mask consistently reduces the likelihood of transmission. Masks combined with rigorous testing, tracing, and supportive isolation will make our campus safer. I look forward to a fall semester in which we take good care of one another and continue to excel in learning together.”