Georgetown University President John DeGioia posted a letter on the school’s Facebook page on Tuesday, July 7, reviewing the school’s plan for reopening this fall. The news comes on the heels of lots of frustration from students, including petitioning for reduced tuition.
The plan is to reopen in stages, welcoming about 2,000 undergraduates to campus first. Those who will be invited back to campus include the freshman class of 2024, those whose permanent address makes it impossible or unrealistic for them to study from that location, a limited number of seniors and others whose graduation requirements make it necessary to be on campus and some resident advisors for the dorms. Students on campus can expect to see nurses, ROTC cadets and seniors in five-year master’s programs.
Students will be living in residence halls and in single rooms. They will need to cooperate with current public health protocols in the midst of the pandemic — including being tested for COVID-19 upon returning to school. Students will also be provided with masks and personal protective equipment, reported student newspaper the Hoya.
Community members are to report symptoms through a mobile app or a questionnaire. Those who are symptomatic or have been in contact with a sick person will be tested periodically.
DeGioia’s letter also mentioned that, given any improvement with regard to pandemic conditions, the next phase would happen. That phase allows additional students back to campus, starting with the senior class of 2021.
As of now, GU is planning for some classes to be taught virtually and some to be taught in-person. DeGioia reassured students that, since the school transitioned to virtual learning in March, educators have been working hard to enhance the online learning experience. Should the pandemic worsen, GU will transition back to all-virtual instruction.
No decision has yet been made regarding fall sports. However, the school is contact with the NCAA, the Big East and the Patriot League to coordinate plans. Details regarding other student activities and extracurricular programs will be announced closer to the fall opening date.
“Student-led organizations and co-curricular activities play an invaluable role in fostering a sense of community and belonging,” DeGioia wrote.