Arizona's Public Universities Will Keep Classes Online Through End Of Semesters

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Monday, March 16, 2020 - 5:45pm
Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 8:01am

Arizona’s three public universities — Arizona State UniversityNorthern Arizona University and the University of Arizona — have decided to shift all their classes online for the rest of their semesters.

UA answered students’ most frequently asked during a Facebook Live video Monday.

Provost Lisel Folks said the university is preparing to move all classes online by Wednesday. Folks said she realizes that not all students have access to computers and WiFi, so it's keeping libraries and other work spaces open. 

“Our highest aspiration is that your graduation date should not change because of this,” she said.

They also answered questions on student housing,  possible reimbursements, its commencement ceremony plans, its coronavirus response plan and student workers.

Housing And Reimbursement 

The university is keeping its residence halls open for students who have nowhere else to go.

Dean of Students Kendal Washington White said the residential halls will implement social distancing practices and move more students into single rooms.

Students who chose to move out will be able to get some reimbursement for housing and meal costs. 

“We know that there are schools that are not providing any kind of proration or refund but we’re doing the right thing and we’re making sure that we are financially responsive for our students,” she said.

Those students will be allowed to move out between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Washington said. The university has also offered to ship belongings to students don’t plan to return to their dorms but are not able to come back campus for their things.

Commencement Ceremony

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraging gatherings of more than 50 people, Folks doesn’t expect that the university’s commencement ceremony will continue as previously planned. A final decision is expected to be made later this week. But Folks said it’s possible the university will hold celebrations on a smaller scale.  

Coronavirus Response Plan

As of Monday, the University of Arizona has no known cases of coronavirus on its campus but Folks and Washington said the university is prepared to respond to cases should the need arise.

The university’s health center, which is open during this time, is prepared to test students exhibiting coronavirus symptoms in addition to offering its usual services.

If a student tests positive, the university plans to isolate them at one of their residence halls, where they will be monitored regularly, Folks said.

“The hospitals do not want people that don’t have serious complications turning up at the hospital yet,” Folks said.

The university is also prepared to offer meals, and mental and physical care for any sick student. Folks said seriously ill students would be transported to a local hospital.

Student Workers 

Folks said the university will do everything it can to ensure that no student worker is harmed financially during this time. UA is asking many of its student workers to perform their duties remotely. If that’s not possible, Folks said the university may assign those workers duties that can be done remotely or place them in other areas of campus that are not closed at the moment such as the library.

Folks assure student workers that the university intends to keep their salaries intact through the end of the semester as they were planned to be. 

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