Hannah Eason, Managing Editor
VCU’s fall semester classes are slated to begin Aug. 17 with a mixture of in-person, hybrid and online courses, per a release from President Michael Rao on Tuesday.
Students will receive updated information soon regarding courses and resources available to “navigate any changes.”
“We recognize that not every member of our community has equal access to the technology, support, and personal space that makes remote learning possible,” Rao said. “We will leave no one behind because our mission needs the vital perspectives and clear voice of all of us.”
The release stated that to ensure a safe return to campus, every member of the VCU community must adhere to safety guidelines like social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting spaces and frequent hand-washing.
The university will provide students with masks, hand sanitizer and other items to help students “stay healthy.” Before returning to campus, all students and faculty members will complete online safety protocol training and undergo daily health assessments.
Students who plan to live on campus must test negative for COVID-19 before moving in. On-campus housing is available to students enrolled in both in-person and online classes, and online-only courses do not break a student housing contract, per VCU Residential Life and Housing. To cancel your fall-semester housing contract, visit this site.
The Graduate hotel at 301 W. Franklin St. is listed as a residence hall for first-year students. Honors College students can choose to stay in either the hotel or the Gladding Residence Center. The Honors College Residence Hall will hold low-acuity patients for VCU Health Systems during the academic year.
Move-in details will be sent to students’ VCU emails by the week of July 20. VCU will provide COVID-19 testing kits for students moving on campus. Non-residential students and employees will also receive free testing.
“This is, and will continue to be, a time of necessary adherence to safety measures and to supporting our classmates and colleagues. This includes continued access to mental health resources,” Rao stated. “And it includes remaining flexible and recognizing that our circumstances and plans may change, and we all may need to adapt to the changing situations around us.”
Virtual appointments and other mental health resources are available to students at the Health Promotion and Well-Being Center. Students can also talk to someone confidentially through University Counseling Services.
Additional information from VCU on COVID-19 and fall semester can be found at together.vcu.edu/protocols.