EAST LANSING, Mich. — Leaders of the three largest universities in Michigan got together in a virtual meeting on Thursday to discuss how their schools are responding to the pandemic.
Presidents of Michigan State, University of Michigan, and Wayne State all seemed to be in agreement when talking about how classes might not go back to in-person until next fall.
“Next semester, the winter semester will be basically the same as it is this semester. I’m hoping not, but you know people are anticipating a vaccine at some point. It’s going to take a while to disseminate those vaccines,” said Wayne State University President Roy Wilson.
Some students are extremely frustrated with the thought of continuing classes online through the winter and spring.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking because I love campus life and I love going to football games and, you know, just being able to hang out with friends,” MSU student Julian Stainback explained.
Stainback says he has been ready to return to class and was frustrated to hear that it might not happen for a while. He says he’s quite disappointed with the thought.
“The in-person component is vital to like the learning part and I feel like I’m not gaining the experience - the hands-on experience- that I would have gotten in-person versus online,” said Stainback.
Michigan State President Samuel Stanley says the university is keeping a close eye on other colleges that have returned to in-person learning.
“If there’s not cases of transmission in a classroom where people are wearing masks where they’re socially distanced, that gives me more confidence. I am talking about higher education at the college level," said President Stanley. "That gives me much more confidence that we can teach safely in that environment and I think you might see more campuses coming back to at least the teaching component.”
No official decision has been made about the universities staying remote.
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