Westminster College confirmed Tuesday it would be holding its Fall semester in-person, beginning classes as scheduled Aug. 19. However, the administration adjusted some aspects of the semester schedule to maintain health and safety protocols.
“As a small, private college, Westminster has more teaching and learning options than most larger, more complex institutions,” the school said in a press release.
As part of the adjusted schedule, the administration removed Fall break from the schedule to end the semester early Dec. 4. The last week of the semester — which is right after Thanksgiving break Nov. 25-27 — will likely be held remotely, according to the administration.
This is to account for students who may be travelling, to minimize the risk of transmitting illnesses — especially as flu season is slated to begin around that time.
The news comes just after two other major Utah universities announced they will also be resuming classes in-person in August. This includes the University of Utah and Utah State University, with others expected to follow suit.
With students and faculty returning to campus, Westminster’s administration reports they will be taking precautions — which will make some aspects of campus life look different than it was pre-pandemic.
“It was clear after abruptly moving to remote instruction in the spring that our students missed parts of the Westminster experience that they have come to expect and love,” said President Beth Dobkin in a statement. “They need places to live, learn, work and play safely in as supportive and challenging an environment as is possible.”
Campus life, including housing and dining services, will be implementing different guidelines beginning in the fall. However, those guidelines have not yet been released.
Westminster’s administration says they expect everyone to comply with health and safety concerns, including wearing face masks (if physically able) and maintaining proper social distancing.
The college will continue monitoring state and national developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and will release other updates as they become available.