President Roth on the New Year, New Semester

Editorial StaffJanuary 25, 20213min
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keep wes safeWesleyan’s 2021 spring semester is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, with university housing opening Friday, Feb. 5. All incoming students will be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival and be tested for COVID-19 on campus.

Classes will take place online only for the first two weeks.

“Starting a few weeks later than usual, combined with careful testing and quarantine protocols around arrival, should allow us to start off on the right foot, despite the high positivity rates around the country,” wrote Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 in a Jan. 20 post. “Of course, we will have to be vigilant about contagion throughout the semester. The vaccine rollout is making progress, but we still have a long way to go.”

As in the 2020 fall semester, everyone on campus will continue to wear masks when not in their own rooms, visitors will not be allowed on campus, and social gatherings and travel will be restricted.

“But there will be plenty of ways that students, faculty, and staff can interact safely, and we are confident that folks coming back can have a semester that is at once powerfully educational and full of new experiences of friendship and community building. At the same time, we will do our best to support those who are participating in classes and co-curricular activities remotely to ensure their experiences are as potent as possible,” Roth wrote.

Like many of his colleagues on the faculty, President Roth has been preparing for the class he’s teaching this spring.

“As in so many classes, we will find ways to translate what we are learning in the classroom into how we want to live on campus and beyond,” Roth wrote. “There will be new challenges in the coming term, but given our experience in the fall, I am confident that we will be able to meet them. Of course, I am really looking forward to when we can interact—students, teachers and staff—without worry about contagion.”

View President Roth’s full message online here.

For additional COVID-19 resources, visit Wesleyan’s Keep Wes Safe website.