IU suspends in-person classes for the rest of spring semester

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IU is suspending in-person classes and moving to online for the rest of the spring semester due to the growing health concern of COVID-19. 

To comply with the cancellation of in-person classes and to give students and staff more time to destress, IU has extended spring break an extra week, March 14 to 29.  Although there are no confirmed cases on any IU campus, the university is still taking precautions as the total number of cases in the U.S. grows each day.

In an email sent to IU employees, Chancellor Nassar Paydar expressed that in his 34 years of working with the university he has never seen a situation like this one. 

“This announcement may have come as a surprise to you, but please know it was made after much deliberation and careful consultation with public health experts at the local and national levels,” Nassar stated.

To slow the possible spread of the virus on campus, IU is closing most of their residence halls on March 20 and insisting residents of dorms go back to their permanent homes. This is leaving many RA’s and students scrambling to move out. 

“I come from a single parent household and my main worry is that I will have to move out on a day my mom is scheduled to work,” freshman Emma Pederson said. “Since [my mom] works in a hospital she definitely will not have time off right now.” 

IUPUI is aware that students have already paid for room and board and are working to process refunds since dorms will not be in use for the remainder of the semester. 

“I want a refund because housing and meal plans are expensive. That money could help my family and many other families right now with jobs laying people off because of the virus,” Pederson said.

Resident Assistants from IUPUI housing have declined to comment on this situation at this time. 

Along with wanting to be reimbursed, students have started sharing petitions around social media in hopes of getting money back for the loss of in-person instruction and access to on-campus services. 

“Many students, such as myself are putting themselves through school using scholarships they have earned,” petition leader Dominique D. stated in the change.org link. “Every cent counts when funding your own education.” 

Students enrolled in courses that require a clinical or lab are supposed to be getting further instructions from professors as to how to finish out the school year. Nursing majors received emails from instructors shortly after President Michael A. McRobbie announced the cancellation of in-person classes. 

“As of right now [nursing majors] are unsure as to what is going to happen with clinicals. Most of my instructors told us they will contact us when they figure it out,” sophomore Bryanna Vanderwerf said. “It is important for us to have that hands on learning in the lab, which we won’t be able to do due to classes being moved online.”

As of March 15, the World Health Organization has declared people stay out of groups of fifty people or more for the next 8 weeks. With that being said, many are concerned about commencement. 

In the announcement from President McRobbie, IU will assess the COVID-19 situation in the coming weeks since commencement is currently set for May 16. 

“I already bought my cap and gown. I will be super disappointed if commencement gets cancelled,” senior Suketu Patel said. “Extended spring break sounds great too if it wasn’t my final semester of college.” 

In effort to make sure students receive the academic help they need, academic advising teams will be having virtual appointments through Zoom. Appointments can be scheduled through here.

IU is continuing to monitor the growing situation of the virus and is working with other universities to find a cure that combats this disease. President McRobbie and Chancellor Paydar are urging others to self-quarantine to protect the health of the IU community.  

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