*Editor’s note: Press release received by BU. More to come by BUnow reporters immediately.
BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is announcing it will shift all instruction to remote learning effective Monday, Aug. 31, for all courses in progress. A determination regarding classes scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Oct.. 7, will be made no later than Monday, Sept. 21.
The decision to transition to remote learning came after University leaders saw a concerning upward trend in positive COVID-19 cases within the BU community.
“This decision was made after consultation with my leadership team, members of our Council of Trustees, and the Office of the Chancellor,” said Bloomsburg University President Bashar W. Hanna. “With care and concern for the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, their families, and our neighbors in the Town of Bloomsburg, it is clear that we must make this transition and modify our on-campus operations to protect our community from the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
In July, the University announced its “Back to Bloom” plan following federal and state health guidelines.
BU President Hanna and Mayor Bill Kreisher also issued a joint letter to all students prior to the opening of the semester urging students to follow all safety precautions and be good neighbors in town.
All courses in the Zeigler College of Business and the College of Education will switch to remote instruction, as will the majority of courses in the College of Science and Technology and the College of Liberal Arts. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for specific courses such as clinicals and labs as we continue to monitor these classes. This follows the guidance of the PA Department of Education reopening guidelines that permits clinical training and field experience for all individuals preparing for licensure and certification.
Students on-campus will not be required to leave their residence halls since a number of students come from areas without broadband access or may not have the support they need to complete the semester successfully. Students who choose to return home will be reimbursed for their remaining room and board. The BU Residence Life staff members and community assistants will be working with all on-campus students to guide and support them during this time.
The Student Health Center will remain open. On-campus facilities (including the Rec Center) will be available to on-campus residents only. All applicable unused fees will be reimbursed as appropriate. Effective immediately, all clubs and organizations have to suspend all in-person activities. They may continue to hold meetings 100% virtually. Any students or groups who do not abide by this emergency policy will be held accountable pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct.
“I know that this announcement will be a disappointment to many of you, and I share your disappointment,” said Hanna. “But I am confident that we will work together in support of our students during this transition over the coming days, and throughout a successful fall semester.”