Universities around the country are trying to figure out how to safely bring students back to campus amid the coronavirus crisis.
Worcester-based Clark University has announced that it will be giving students the option of in-person or online classes in the fall – including stringent COVID-19 testing guidelines for everyone on campus.
Clark students are encouraged.
“I hardly got a chance to attend in-person lectures, so now I’m happy,” said Samiuddha Suryavansha, who’s entering her second semester at Clark.
Ph. D student Lei Song said, “To be honest, I think we cannot just stay at home forever, so the plan sounds very great to me.”
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Under the “Healthy Clark COVID Plan,” all students will be tested for the new coronavirus the day they arrive on campus, all employees will be tested prior to the beginning of in-person classes and the University will randomly test faculty, staff and students throughout the semester to gauge for any new spread of infection.
Ravi Gupta, who’s heading into his second semester at Clark said, “I think that will be better for everyone at first because testing is the thing that we will come to know whether we are positive or not.”
Song said, “It’s a valuable opportunity to get everyone tested.”
“That would be the best for students and for the university as well,” added Divesh Gupta, a Clark student in his third semester.
Students we spoke with said it also makes them feel safer knowing there will be mandatory contact tracing and housing set aside for students who need to isolate or quarantine while on campus.
“They should keep on doing the testing frequently because this will keep the students also aware about the situations going around in the university, and also the professors will understand whether they are safe or not within the university – this is beneficial for every one of us,” Suryavansha said.
The fall semester is scheduled to begin Aug. 24 and end the week before Thanksgiving – with no breaks.