Local colleges, universities on track to resume classes next week amid pandemic

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Rick Liebchen helped his daughter, Paige, move in to the University of Tampa one last time.

“Very excited. It’s my senior year,” Paige said Tuesday.

Her final year at UT will likely be like no other.

“Personally, I love in-person classes. I just happen to learn better that way. Virtual is nice if you want to be in bed. Some days I get it, but it’d be nice to be in-person, too,” the nursing major said.

Face-to-face classes at UT are set to resume Aug. 26.

University leadership, with the help of students, put together a health and safety video to inform students about the pandemic and all that is being done to keep people safe.

“We are definitely trying to be clear and consistent with our students on what behaviors are acceptable and what are not, and really the impact,” said Stephanie Russell Krebs, the Dean of Students. “In years past when you went to college, if you made a poor decision it might have impacted you. Now if you make a poor decision, it could impact many.”

That is a concern at colleges and universities around the country, especially after UNC-Chapel Hill decided to move to online-only classes this week amid a surge in cases on campus.

“We saw what happened at UNC-Chapel Hill this week and North Carolina State. Mass parties. Whole sororities quarantined. That’s the problem. How do we manage those communal activities,” said Renalia DuBose, an associate professor at WMU Cooley Law School.

She explained that education is key for those in college in order to prevent the virus from spreading.

“I wish I could say that I could see in the future into the fall, but the only way to judge future behavior is by looking at past and present behavior, so that’s what I would say to those universities,” she said.

At UT, the dean said a panel will meet daily to assess the evolving COVID-19 situation and determine if they must move to virtual-only classes at any period.

Meantime, at the University of South Florida, classes get underway Aug. 24, the university’s website says.

LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus Need-to-Know Info

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss