Fall 2021 to be primarily in-person, San Diego State announces

by Brenden Tuccinardi, Editor in Chief

San Diego State is planning to offer primarily in-person instruction in the fall and open on-campus housing to thousands of more students, university leaders announced in an email sent on April 7. The announcement comes a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to fully reopen the state’s economy on June 15. 

Previously, SDSU had been considering a hybrid model, offering both in-person and virtual courses and only planned on housing 5,600 students.

Registration

These new developments alter the usual registration process. According to the email, the Fall 2021 class schedule will be released on May 10 and registration will begin on May 25.

This new timeline is meant to provide academic units and leadership ample time to respond to new guidance and finalize in-person instructional planning for the fall, the email stated.

What In-person Might Look Like?

The university is exploring “additional public health protection and support mechanisms,” the email stated. These could possibly include proof of vaccination requirements, continued COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, testing on-arrival, wastewater testing, enhanced cleaning protocol and isolation/quarantine housing. 

Per the Governor’s guidance, masks will be required even after June 15.

Students have Mixed Feelings

While several students are excited by the prospect of being on campus in the fall and returning to a somewhat normal “college experience,” others have their doubts. 

One student who responded to The Daily Aztec’s Instagram story said they were skeptical about how the university would manage the situation.

“They (the university) say we’ll be in-person, which is great, but there wasn’t any information otherwise about how they’ll manage the COVID-19 risks once we’re all down,” the student wrote. “Plus they don’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to accurate and empathetic communication/actions towards the student body.”

Health communication first-year Kitiara Cox said she would prefer to have online classes. 

“I personally would feel more comfortable continuing online classes because COVID-19 will sill be present and being in spaces with a lot of people isn’t something I am ready for yet,” she said. “I hope they take into account that not all students feel safe to come back on campus yet and they include a decent amount of online classes for students who want to continue that route.”

Looking Forward

Updated guidance for faculty and staff will be shared in the coming weeks, the email said, though the university expects to increase access to on-campus research and academic spaces this spring continuing through the summer. 

Also in the email plans to expand access to Love Library were announced. On May 24, the Library Addition will partially reopen. 

“Thank you, again, for your patience and understanding during this time of continued change – albeit, hopeful change,” the email signed by President de la Torre, Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa, Vice President J. Luke Wood and Associated Students President Christian Holt. “We each look forward to renewed energy on and around campus this fall, and to reconnecting with you in person on our campus in only a few months from now.”

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