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Grand Valley State University plans for students to return to campus in the fall

The university said it plans to make a decision about the fall term when the spring semester ends on June 22.
Credit: GVSU / Facebook
Grand Valley State University, Allendale campus.

ALLENDALE, Mich. — Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella said the school is preparing for students to return to campus for in-person instruction in the fall.

The winter semester had to adapt to remote instruction and students were required to leave campus because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We are planning for a Fall semester with multiple learning and living scenarios to be as flexible as possible and to accommodate all students safely," Mantella said during a town hall with 1,200 new Lakers on Friday, May 1. 

The university said it plans to make a decision about the fall term when the spring semester ends on June 22. Mantella said school leaders will rely on guidance from Michigan's Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the scientific community. 

Three learning options are being developed to prepare for the fall semester, including fully online, a hybrid model and face-to-face instruction. 

"Grand Valley leads with care and is a place that puts students and learning first," Mantella said. "From one newcomer to another, know that we are ready to support you with a breadth of programs designed to build the skills you need for your careers." 

This is Mantella's first year as the president of the university. She said GVSU is in a unique position to adapt to online learning temporarily because of the university's small class sizes. 

Loren Rullman, dean of students, said about 80 percent of housing beds in on-campus accommodation offer private room and bathroom options, which will help maintain health and safety standards. 

The housing application deadline is June 1. The fall semester begins Aug. 31. 

Northern Michigan University in the Upper Peninsula said Friday it will open with classes in campus in the fall. It is the first state university to declare plans for the upcoming school year. The U.P. has not seen as many coronavirus cases as other parts of the state. 

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