BREAKING: First two weeks of classes will be taught completely online

By Mari Devereaux, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Courtesy/Columbia College Chicago

All classes will be held remotely during the first two weeks of the Fall semester—even if they are designated as in-person or hybrid—and access to campus buildings will be limited to allow students to quarantine per Chicago’s emergency order.

In a Monday, Aug. 10 email to faculty and staff, Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David said in anticipation of some out-of-state students having to comply with the city’s 14-day quarantine mandate, on-campus components of hybrid and face-to-face classes will not begin until Sept. 21.

These courses, alongside online classes, will still start as scheduled on Sept. 8.

“I believe this phased start will enable us all to settle in, create new rhythms and patterns, and get our semester off to a successful start,” David said in the email.


Due to Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order, which was put into effect Aug. 2, students from listed states experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases must isolate at home for two weeks before traveling to the city or self-isolate once they reach their new living space on campus.

During a discussion hosted by the Faculty Senate July 31, Chief of Staff Laurent Pernot said the quarantine order will likely affect thousands of Columbia students living in on- and off-campus housing, as reported by the Chronicle.

Some students who had contracts with Residence Life said they were somewhat nervous and unsure about the prospect of quarantining upon their arrival, especially with classes advancing soon.

David said in addition to reducing suite occupancy, limiting guest access and implementing social distancing protocols in the residence halls, the college is streamlining the move-in process to reduce contact and allowing residents to sign up for move-in slots a week earlier than usual. David did not specify in the email to faculty and staff how Residence Life is “streamlining” move-in.

Fall schedule

After providing department chairs with the opportunity to update the fall schedule last week “in light of current conditions, best pedagogical practices and faculty teaching requests,” David said the college will still offer a mix of WEB, hybrid and face-to-face learning.

She added students are encouraged to check their courses on OASIS because their sections may have changed from hybrid to WEB, or vice versa, and make adjustments to their schedule if needed.

“Importantly, we are confident that the expected attendance in our on-campus classes will allow us to operate safely, and provide rich access to creative spaces, study and workstations, and our library resources,” David said.

She encouraged faculty to reach out to students with specific details about how their courses will operate and talk with Academic Technology or department chairs for further assistance in setting up their classes.

David said she hopes the initial two-week “phased start” will facilitate students’ transition to campus, allowing them to follow health guidelines and stay safe without missing in-person instruction.