UH system prepares for ‘unprecedented semester’Posted on Jul 29, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
From required face coverings to reconfigured classrooms and hybrid approaches to learning, the 10 UH system campuses are gearing up for the start of the fall semester Aug. 24. Each campus is adopting precautions as it figures out how to safely deliver courses through a combination of in-person and distance learning. ‘It is a monumental task to prepare for an unprecedented semester,” said UH President David Lassner. The university system’s top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of its students, employees and visitors, Lassner said. The guidelines include requiring face masks when interacting in person with others; adjusting class sizes for physical distancing; regular disinfecting of classrooms and ‘high-touch” surfaces; and modifications to residence halls and campus eateries.
UH Mānoa plans to reduce the number of on-campus housing slots from 3,000 to 2,000 with non-O‘ahu freshmen being given first priority. All other students will be selected for housing through a lottery. “We know that many local students are still deciding whether or not they should go off to the mainland,” Lassner said. “They are seeing some universities going fully online and considering whether that’s something worth going away for.” Lassner also announced a “modified quarantine” for out-of-state students registered to attend campuses on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. The guidelines allow a student who tests negative for COVID-19 and meets other health requirements to take part in university activities. At press time, no exemption was available in the counties of Maui and Hawai‘i. In addition to most of the UH system campuses, the special arrangement also applies to Hawai‘i Pacific, Chaminade, and Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i.