The quiet campus awaits the return of stu­dents. Ben Wilson | Collegian

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.”