Western Michigan University plans fall campus return amid coronavirus

Students will return to Western's Kalamazoo campus in the fall. (RonaldL /Shutterstock.com)

Western Michigan University announced Thursday it intends to bring students back to its Kalamazoo campus for the fall semester.

What campus life will look like amid the pandemic is still unclear.

In a letter to staff and faculty Thursday, WMU President Edward Montgomery said that, “with regard to the fall semester, it is our full intention to welcome students back to campus and be fully operating, assuming government directives and public health constraints beyond our control allow us to do so.”

Several Michigan colleges and universities have announced this week that they plan to return to at least some face-to-face classes in September. Western’s announcement leaves Michigan State University, Wayne State University and the three University of Michigan campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint) as the last of the state’s 15 public universities to not announce their fall intentions.

Montgomery said in his letter that school officials are “working through multiple instructional scenarios and planning operational procedures that will make a safe fall on campus possible.”

The letter did not offer details about the enhanced health protocols for the 22,000-student campus. 

Several other public universities are planning for the likelihood that students, staff and faculty will wear face masks on campus, classes will be reconfigured to allow social distancing, and students and faculty who are uncomfortable with face-to-face classes will be able to teach or take courses online.

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A Yooper
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 10:32am

Monkey see and monkey do.
The University system in California is entirely on line this fall. We’re talking UCLA, the Berkeley, Davis, etc, campuses. And Michigan universities just can’t seem to get their crap together to do this. Savings from buildings utilities, maintenance, etc, would be massive with total online.
Tens of thousands of kids jammed into residence halls, cafeterias and classrooms is dangerous. And that age old tradition of packing tens of thousands into football stadiums, or petting dishes now, will just further spread the virus. There’s now way the hospitals in these cities can deal with this. Are foreign students allowed to attend? Or students from cities with high infection and death rates permitted?
I’m a Western alum and feel it is too risky at this time. It’s just too easy to roll over and play dead.
It’s not “business as usual “ anymore, and it's time for the colleges and universities in this State to get on board and follow California's lead.

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:55pm

Exactly, MONKEYS! Smart people know better!

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 2:43pm

A Yooper Or is it really looper? Follow Californias lead? Seriously? Record homelessness. Feces and used drug needles littering the streets and parks. Highest taxes etc etc... People disgusted and moving out in record numbers. Yeah, they sure seem to have it all together there. When are you moving?