Harvard Will Resume in-Person Classes Next Fall

All students will be allowed to move back into school dormitories for the first time in a year

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 08: A view of the campus of Harvard University on July 08, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued the Trump administration for its decision to strip international college students of their visas if all of their courses are held online.
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Harvard students will return to in-person classes and activities in the upcoming fall semester, school officials announced Monday.

All students should anticipate resuming classes in person and returning to dorms on campus, Claudine Gay, the school's dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, wrote in an email to community members. On-campus academic resources, such as libraries, archives, and museums, will also be open next fall.

School officials are currently aiming to welcome staff and faculty back to campus on Aug. 2, per an email from the Harvard president, provost and executive vice president.

Harvard students have taken classes remotely since the pandemic forced the school to shut its in-person operations last March. The school recently announced that it would hold this year's commencement ceremonies remotely for a second time in May.

Gay noted that the school is setting an "ambitious goal" for the next semester, one that comes with "real challenges." She wrote that Harvard's plans will continue to care for the health and safety of the school community as in-person activities resume.

"Planning to work, teach, and carry out research in person can provoke anxiety after a year of diligent masking, distancing, and handwashing," she wrote. "That we assume some of these practices will still be needed this fall is also a sad reminder that the pandemic will still be with us in some form."

Gay also emphasized that the next school year will be "an important time of transition" for the campus, and she urged Harvard affiliates to move forward with a "willingness to pilot and to change."

"We know we cannot recapture the campus experience of 2019," she wrote. "We can only move forward, bringing all we have learned from the past year to the project of rebuilding our campus-based identity and defining our new normal."

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