It was roughly 2pm on Tuesday the 23rd when the students of the University of Georgia got the news. Classes were on for the fall! Jumping up from their seats, they were overwhelmed with joy. But- once this feeling was over, they felt the confusion set in as they read what they may be possibly going through next year.
As an incoming UGA freshman, I am here to break down exactly what's to expect for the Fall of 2020 and why you should be super excited about us getting to come together and go!
Classes Begin on August 20th
Unlike other schools, UGA will not be moving the start time of their classes. Instead, we can all prepare to begin on Thursday, August 20th.
In-Person classes end at Thanksgiving Break
Here is where the changes start. Classes at UGA will end when we go on Thanksgiving Break with all courses moving online afterwards. Finals will take place online from December 11-17.
To note though, UGA will NOT be closing for the rest of the semester. Instead, they will provide regular operations Housing, dining, health/wellness center, and the campus transit will still take place.
Those who were suppose to graduate in the Spring of 2020 will be able to on Friday October 16th at 6:30pm in Sanford Stadium. Graduations for masters and doctoral degrees will be Friday, December 18th in Stegeman Coliseum with the Fall 2020 Graduation ceremony.
Modified Class Scheduled
With many students being expected to opt into walking instead of taking the bus, UGA is giving you five extra minutes between classes. The bus system will still be operating, but with limited capacity.
Here's the big one everyone has been curious about. How will this affect our classes? Well, according to the University, classes will still take place, but with social distancing. The exact measures taken will all depend on the professor. However, it appears there are already a couple options. The first being, face-to-face classes with online office hours. Secondly, students will rotate between attending classes in person and online. Other instances may even have professors giving online lectures with in-person "breakout sessions."
UGA has stated that ever faculty, staff, and student needs to make sure they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to campus every day. They are going to be providing everyone a digital thermometer and 2 reusable and washable masks.
Another big question we find ourselves asking is: are masks going be required? The answer is NO. Masks will be encouraged, but not required.
Health/Safety and preventing the spread training
Everyone-, staff, and students- must complete a training program before coming in August. This program is said to educate you on the measures being taken in addition to your own responsibility to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. More info about this is to come.
UGA is saying that anyone who needs accommodations due to COVID-19 can make requests through the Disability Resource Center.
I hope I was able to break down UGA's Fall 2020 plan. Much more information is to come, but I know we are all super excited to be in Athens in the fall! Just remember we are all in this together!