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Colleges across the country converting to 100% remote learning models amid growing COVID concerns

By Corryn Carter

Michigan State University (MSU) and The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC) are among the latest institutions to fully convert to remote learning models amid growing COVID-19 concerns.

MSU president, Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. M.D. informed undergraduates of the university’s plans to remain online. “Effective immediately, we are asking undergraduate students who planned to live in our residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely,” read a memorandum released late Tuesday.

Exceptions will be made to accommodate students whose majors require in-person coursework, however, undergraduate students, both on and off-campus are encouraged to remain in their home communities if it is safe.

UNC announced plans to cancel in-person instruction on Monday following a campus coronavirus outbreak. While it is not required, the university is encouraging students to cancel their residence hall reservations and return home to complete the semester’s coursework.

UNC’s coronavirus response has gained a fair amount of criticism including from Daily Tar Heel, the student-run campus newspaper. In a very forward editorial, students call out the administration for failure to comply with recommendations made by the county health department and the refusal to disclose the number of positive cases. “We’re angry — and we’re scared. We’re tired of the gaslighting, tired of the secrecy, tired of being treated like cash cows by a University with such blatant disregard for our lives.“

During the first week of classes, at least 135 students tested positive for COVID-19, with over six reported outbreak “clusters” — a group of five or more cases — as of yesterday.

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