While it was up in the air for the past few months, it was made official that the rebalance plan at IUP will continue into next semester.
In an email sent to students Oct. 6, the IUP Fall Planning Group went into detail about the future plans for IUP. This includes both the current semester and spring 2021, and much of what has been put into place will continue on until further notice.
The rebalance plan means IUP will continue to limit the number of students allowed on campus and will continue with hybrid classes as COVID-19 continues to be an issue.
This information is highly important now as students begin registration, according to the email.
“As you register for spring classes, please make sure you understand the delivery method of your courses; your advisor or your course instructor is the best source of this information,” the email said.
Despite much of what has already been continuing, there has been one big change in the form of spring break.
Traditionally a one-week long break for students, it has been decided that IUP will instead determine five different days with no classes. They will not happen concurrently.
IUP also asks that students continue to follow community guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing.
While many students have mixed emotions regarding changes to the health and safety guidelines, many understood the need for them, and therefore, weren’t too bothered.
Elissa Ridenour (junior, biology) found some of the policies hard to get.
“I think I'm still confused on how it goes down, but it is fine,” she said. “It looked like nothing did change.”
Christina Horst (sophomore, psychology) also found that there was no problem in continuing next semester as a hybrid, but she was disappointed with the spring break changes.
“I don't mind sticking with the rebalance plan, but what's with spring break,” she said. “I don't really understand that besides trying to restrict student travel.”
Not everyone is OK with the plans made by IUP, especially when looking at how the current semester is going. Sierra Shoener (senior, interior design) said she thought the restrictions were punishing students who followed guidelines.
“Why are they worried about restricting where people go and what people do now?”
Shoener said that just by looking outside her window, she saw people were not following guidelines. For her, there was no point in pushing the issue.
“No one is going to stop them,” she said.
She also said that if IUP was going to try to restrict students, the administration needed to push the rules more in order to stop any possible virus from spreading.
“They know all this stuff is going on,” she said. “They openly see people walking around on campus without masks, so why do we even have the rules when they’re not gonna punish people for not following them?”
IUP’s plan for those not following guidelines includes a chance that they could face the student conduct board.
As of Tuesday, IUP has had 251 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 212 have recovered.
For those returning to campus in the spring, move-in will take place Jan. 16 and 17. The semester schedules will run from Jan. 19 until May 3. All students living on campus will receive another free safety kit.
All of the guidelines and information is available to the public through IUP’s website at iup.edu/news-item.