Miami sticks with plan to return to campus, offers delayed move-in

ajc.com

Credit: STAFF FILE PHOTO

Credit: STAFF FILE PHOTO

Miami University will move forward with plans to return to campus and start in-person and hybrid classes this month after reaching 1,000 student cases of coronavirus earlier this week.

“This decision was made after lengthy consideration of the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and is an expression of confidence in our campus community and is grounded in our belief that we can still offer a rich campus experience with the proper protocols and measures in place,” read a statement from Gregory Crawford, university president.

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Students will starting moving in to residence halls on Sept. 14, with in-person and hybrid classes beginning Sept. 21.

Due to some students taking advantage of remote learning, the on-campus population is expected to be approximately 40% less.

Students and families returning to campus have multiple options, including moving in as planned, going completely remote or delaying their return by two weeks.

Anyone changing their plan from what they selected in August will need to select their new plan. Students have until Sept. 18 to change their decision to fully remote or a delayed return.

Under the delayed return, students will move in on Oct. 3 or 4 and start on Oct. 5. The university will prorate dinning and housing fees.

If a student who delayed their return is still uncomfortable with returning to campus, they have until Oct. 2 to switch to completely remote.

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“We know some will disagree with this decision, which we deeply respect,” said Crawford. “We listened to and understand the concerns and share them. We care about the health and well-being of our campus community and our neighbors in Oxford and Butler County. There are no simple answers or straightforward paths to follow that are risk free.”

Last week, the university started a testing protocol for students, including wide-net and surveillance testing on top of diagnostic testing for students with symptoms of coroavirus. The university tested a random of students in Oxford, as well as people who may have had contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Miami is also calling for everyone on campus to follow all safety and health measures from the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and City of Oxford.

“While many are looking forward to being back on campus in-person, everyone must understand that campus life cannot be the same as it was last year if we’re going to control the spread of COVID-19,” Crawford said. “We will all have new responsibilities, and students will need to make a conscious commitment to live differently this term.”