BOURBONNAIS – Students at Olivet are planning their return to campus for in-person learning next semester. University Registrar Mark Mountain made the announcement Thursday in an email to students.
Spring semester will resume for in-person learning Tuesday, January 19th, with some classes that will be held virtually before then. During the fall semester, some 85% of all ONU classes had some face-to-face learning aspects to them.
“In order to allow for a 14-day self-quarantine period after the holidays, as well as to decrease the amount of travel during the semester where the virus is more likely to be picked up and brought back to campus, Olivet’s administrative team approved shifts in the school calendar for spring 2021.” University Registrar Mark Mountain said in the letter.
The University has not presented data suggesting students are more likely to contract COVID-19 away from campus than on it.
Before the start of the fall semester, Olivet administrators chose not to test students for the pandemic as they returned to Bourbonnais. “No, we will not be mass testing at the start of the year but instead will have a low threshold for recommending COVID testing when students or employees are symptomatic.” The school said on its website before the start of the fall semester.
Opting for temperature checks to inter-campus students on move-in day this fall, Olivet has seen a high of 41 active cases at one time earlier this month and had to institute additional mitigation efforts within the campus. After dipping earlier this week, cases had risen to 22 students Friday.
Spring semester classes at Olivet will likely fall into one of the three categories offered in fall, including face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and fully online teachings. Mountain added there will be no spring break next year for students with four ‘break days’ scheduled in substitution.
“Additionally, there will be no Spring Break this year. In place of that, the schedule will include four break days for students to get ahead or catch up on work in place of a traditional Spring Break.” Mountain said.
An Olivet Commencement ceremony has also been scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, 2021. Last Spring, students at Olivet had Commencement moved to August due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.