After ending its fall 2020 semester virtually, Hillsdale College will resume in-person classes on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Dec. 18 that, “Gatherings at colleges and universities, trade schools, and career schools are permitted for the purpose of holding in-person classes.” Although the college will still take precautions, students were invited by the administration to come back to campus starting on Sunday, Jan. 10.
Professors still have the option to teach classes remotely. According to an email sent by Provost Chris VanOrman, professors must notify their departments, but can teach virtually at their discretion.
An email sent by Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs Carolyn Milligan on Jan. 6 said that the college has updated its COVID-19 response by adopting the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including decreasing the isolation period from 14 to 10 days, reducing quarantine time to seven days if an individual receives a negative COVID-19 test on day seven, and heavily encouraging distancing in classrooms to lessen the impact of contact tracing in the classroom. In addition, COVID-19 vaccines have been offered to faculty and staff.
The college recommends masks in classrooms and public spaces on campus. Like last semester, the dining hall will operate at 50% capacity. Students are still encouraged to monitor, regulate, and report any symptoms to Hillsdale College Health Services, or through the Hillsdale GO app.
Although the college has repeatedly adjusted its COVID-19 procedures this school year, according to Director of Student Activities Zane Mabry ’20, it hasn’t halted student activities.
“Expect from SAB the same level of perseverance in the face of COVID that Bill Murray displayed in his battles with the gopher at Bushwood Country Club,” Mabry said.
Dean of Men Aaron Petersen said COVID-19 hasn’t dulled students’ need or desire for in-person education.
Dean of Men Aaron Petersen said COVID-19 has not dampered students’ desire for in-person education.
“Throughout last semester, students were overwhelmingly happy to be in class and learn together,” Petersen said. “We’re pleased to welcome students back to campus and we are confident they’ll remain cautious and diligent in our efforts to keep campus healthy and safe.”
Moving forward, the college will still work with Hillsdale Hospital to administer tests and determine isolation and quarantine measures.
“Stay healthy, remain attentive to physical symptoms, wear masks as appropriate, practice good hygiene, keep physical space to reduce the spread of germs, and do so with a spirit of duty to others both at the college and in the greater Hillsdale Community,” Milligan said in her email. “We look forward to having you back and will do everything within our power to continue our love of learning and pursuit of truth together.”