Decision on rest of spring semester coming next week

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BROOKINGS – University officials anticipate making a decision by the end of next week on how they will move forward regarding COVID-19 and the remainder of the semester.

Online classes at South Dakota State University start Monday, March 23, for two weeks.

“We do anticipate that next Friday, March 27, in coordination with the South Dakota Board of Regents and state leadership, there will be an update on how we will move forward,” SDSU President Barry Dunn said in a virtual town hall meeting on YouTube Friday morning. 

“I understand and appreciate the frustration and challenges of not knowing what the remainder of the semester will look like. … We will be ready if a decision is made for the remainder of the semester to be online.”

There are no current plans to extend the time frame of the 2020 spring academic calendar.

“While we are continuing to encourage students to remain home, the residence halls are allowing students to return if they have housing needs,” Dunn said.

Some dining services are open on campus, and students have access to Jack’s Cupboard if needed.

Dunn said if the university goes to online classes for the rest of the semester, plans are ready for a “safe and orderly move-out of the residence halls. This includes options for storage of belongings that cannot be picked up during that time, and alternate arrangements for picking up belongings at a later date.”

With questions from students who live hours from campus or in another country, “we are encouraging students to remain in a location where they have the resources to take care of themselves and to stay healthy,” Dunn said.

The university is planning to implement a refund policy for students living on campus if needed, for items such as room, meal plans and parking, and a refund policy for tuition if a student withdraws. 

Dunn said a decision has not been made on whether spring commencement will be held this year.

“We have to continue to be aware of the current situation and recognize that events of this size may not be allowable. We are exploring all options in the event that it needs to be rescheduled,” he added.

Contact Jill Fier at [email protected]

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