Syracuse University Moves Ahead With Plans to Offer In-Person Classes This Fall

May 21, 2020

SU's Hall of Languages
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse University is moving ahead with plans to hold most classes in person in what will be a condensed fall semester.  Interim Deputy Senior VP Amanda Nicholson says they’re trying to keep the college experience alive for students, even if it’s not quite the same.

"We're working on the assumption that things are similar to today, where we need to be six feet apart,  that we need to wear masks,  that we can only gather in small groups, that we can't put 200 young people in a lecture hall together.  I hate to say it's the worst-case scenario, but we have not been assuming everything's going be rainbows and pussycats by the time we open." 

SU will offer most in-person classes simultaneously online to accommodate individual health circumstances of students and faculty.

Tulips bloom along the Einhorn Family Walk.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Rising senior and WAER sportscaster Frankie Vernouski is encouraged.  Residential instruction and all college and professional sports came to a halt in mid-March.

"I do have to commend them for stepping out and trying to make a decision this early, and working with New York State and making sure that it can happen.  The next semester doesn't start for another three months, which feels like an even longer time away where a lot can happen.  I'm really happy that we at least have somewhat of a firm plan.  I'm all for it."

But, SU officials say they’ll be watching the numbers and recommendations, and plans could change leading up to the first day of classes on August 24th.  Every student will be tested for COVID-19 upon returning to campus, though they’re still working on logistics.  Residential instruction will end on November 24th, and instruction will continue remotely after Thanksgiving until the end of the semester.  Officials say the condensed calendar might mean more Friday and weekend classes.

Newhouse III.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News