On March 23 the University announced that AS&E is planning for an in-person 2021-2022 academic year.

“All classes and educational experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in the schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering at [UR] are expected to be held on campus at full classroom capacity, assuming health and safety guidelines are met,” the announcement said. “Virtual instruction options will be prepared as part of contingency plans, including instructional plans for international students who cannot travel to the U.S. As always, the University reserves the prerogative to change the mode of instruction for any course to on-line or hybrid delivery whenever deemed necessary or pedagogically appropriate.”

The University will closely monitor NYS and Federal guidelines in the coming months and will adjust protocols for the next academic year accordingly.

“I think we will be offering hybrid courses in the Fall, with the expectation that most students will have returned to campus for in-person courses, but that some of our students, such as international students or those with health issues, may not be able to return and will participate in classes remotely,” Dean of AS&E Gloria Culver said. “I expect that there will be more social interaction and many opportunities for in-person group activities, like theater, clubs, etc.”

Numerous current first-year students will be coming to campus for the first time as sophomores.

“It’s exciting [to finally be on campus], but at the same time I’ve missed out on so much so it just feels like I’m an outsider looking into this glass globe,” first-year Ro Kamala said. “It’s bittersweet.”

On March 11, 2020, the University announced that classes for the rest of the spring semester would be moved online starting March 18, ordering students to leave campus to go home unless they qualified to remain. All Education Abroad Programs were also cancelled for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Although students were allowed to return to campus for the hybrid fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, there were numerous social distancing protocols and surveillance testing programs in place to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 was minimized on campus.

“Essentially, I think having been away from in-person school for so long has made us realise the little things we love about university, [like] randomly bumping into friends in hallways, spirit days, going sledding behind Sue B., etc.,” junior Niharika Thakur said. “So I’m hopeful that in fall 2021 we’d prioritise these things more and spend more time with each other and appreciate everything [UR] has to offer.”



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