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New Wayne State University fall plans: What to know

How the university is reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic

Light pole flags for Wayne State University in Detroit's Midtown. (WDIV)
Light pole flags for Wayne State University in Detroit's Midtown. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Wayne State University (WSU) released its plan for the upcoming fall semester amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

WSU President Roy Wilson announced Wednesday that the university will offer various learning formats, both online and in-person.

Officials say about 46 percent of WSU courses will be held online in the fall. In-person classes are only expected to comprise about 20 percent of the classes offered in the fall.

WSU will also offer remote classes, which are synchronous with a professor, online/in-person hybrid courses and individually arranged classes, which include dissertations and individual research credits.

President Wilson says the ratio of class formats offered will be adjusted if necessary based on the status of the pandemic in Michigan when classes resume in the fall.

Tuition for WSU classes will not increase this year.

Students taking in-person classes can expect physical distancing in the classrooms and will be required to wear a face covering. The university is expecting the entire WSU community to wear face coverings while on campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officials say face masks would have been required for the fall semester regardless of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new face mask requirements.

Students on campus will be expected to fill out a daily screening forum on the WSU mobile app to ensure they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms. Students must be cleared to be on campus and will receive a QR code that they may be asked to present, officials said.

President Wilson asks anyone with symptoms or who feels ill to avoid being on campus.

University housing will also be available for students returning to campus in the fall. Move-in dates have been extended over a week in August to reduce the amount of students moving in at the same time.

Officials say students living on campus will be required to get tested for COVID-19 prior to moving in and multiple times throughout the semester. Face coverings aren’t expected to be worn in residents’ private rooms.

No guests will be allowed to visit campus housing facilities in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Wilson said.

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On-campus dining will operate regularly but with adjustments to encourage social distancing.

Patrons will be expected to wear face coverings when entering and exiting dining halls, and may only remove them when seated at a table. Officials also say occupancy will be limited to ensure physical distancing between diners.

Dining halls will offer to-go meals during all meal periods. A new “dining to-go” station will be set up at the Student Center Building for those who don’t wish to visit a cafeteria.

Libraries will only be open to WSU students, staff and faculty, officials said. Some locations are closed, while others will be available by appointment only.

Officials say the future of college athletics is still uncertain, but the university is working with the NCAA to resume competitive sports. College athletes will be tested for COVID-19 and will undergo temperature checks upon entering WSU facilities.

Other campus events and activities will primarily be held online in the fall, Wilson said.

WSU is one of the last to announce their plans for the fall semester. University President Roy Wilson told Local 4 that he wanted to take a calm and measured approach toward developing a plan to ensure safety amid the pandemic.

Officials say that because the spread of COVID-19 is changing every day throughout Michigan, and unfortunately has been worsening in recent weeks, the plans announced Wednesday are subject to change as necessary.

A virtual town hall will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday to further discuss this plan and address any questions.

READ MORE: Here’s which Michigan colleges will have in-person, online fall classes -- or both


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