BREAKING: GV cancels Fall Break, will continue in-person classes until Thanksgiving


GVL \ Alexis Velazquez

Kellen Voss, Print Associate Editor

Grand Valley State Univeristy announced Thursday afternoon that they will be continuing as planned to have the 2020 Fall semester in-person. In the announcement, GVSU also said that Fall Break has been cancelled, and in an effort to minimize travel and reduce the spread of COVID-19, every class that can be switched to remote learning will do so after Thanksgiving break.

In an email sent to all GVSU students on Thursday, president Philomena Mantella said that she trusts students will stay responsible and social distance to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

“The most important part of the plan relies on all of us to follow safe behaviors,” Mantella said. “You have no doubt seen the news stories with parties and gatherings near college campuses at which too many students gather without social distancing and few, if any, face coverings. We are counting on our students to avoid such behavior and instead to be models for the rest of our community and for college students around the country. Lakers are leaders and never before have the stakes been higher.”

This comes after the announcement of large Midwest schools, including Michigan State University and The University of Notre Dame,  suspended in-person learning. Notre Dame has suspended in-person classes for two weeks, while Michigan State will be only conducting online classes for the entire fall semester.

In the email, Mantella urged everyone in the GVSU community to go into Blackboard and take the health pledge to follow the university’s health and safety rules. The pledge is available to take by students and faculty by logging into their personal Blackboard account.

If any student feels uncomfortable returning back to in-person learning for the first time since March, Mantella urged them to talk to their advisor about changing classes. If that decision leads students to cancel their university housing contract, they will be able to do so without financial penalty.

This new schedule is not set in stone, as GVSU has the right to adjust the academic calendar as it sees fit or move fully online if the virus continues to spread.

In order to be fully aware of the health of GVSU students during this pandemic, Mantella is asking that students continue to take the COVID-19 self-assessment every day. Details surrounding this assessment were sent to every GVSU email account Monday, Aug. 17.

“While we cannot guarantee a virus-free campus, we can assure a comprehensive, efficient and expedited response to the virus,” Mantella said. “We expect everyone to take the self-assessment each day. This will flag symptoms or exposure. Our partnership with Spectrum Health will help us with our health care response. We have adequate isolation and quarantine spaces for students within our housing units.”