Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY CLARE PROC­TOR, STAFF RE­PORTER cproc­tor@sun­times.com | @ce­proc­tor23

Most of Loy­ola Univer­sity’s classes this fall will be on­line, ac­cord­ing to an email sent to students, fac­ulty and staff Mon­day.

The email, sent from univer­sity Pres­i­dent Jo Ann Rooney and Provost Nor­berto Grzywacz, an­nounced that in-person classes will only be of­fered for cour­ses that need face-to­face in­struc­tion — things like labs, re­search and ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing classes.

The move rep­re­sents a scal­ing back of pre­vi­ous plans. Loy­ola had ear­lier an­nounced it would of­fer a greater mix of on­line and in­per­son cour­ses this fall. The univer­sity did not re­spond to ques­tions of what per­cent of classes will be on­line this fall.

“Our pri­or­ity re­mains the health, safety and well-be­ing of our Loy­ola com­mu­nity,” the email said. “As COVID-19 in­fec­tion rates and deaths con­tinue to in­crease across nu­mer­ous states, we share the con­cerns of our fac­ulty, staff and broader com­mu­nity.”

Car­los Martinez, a ris­ing se­nior at Loy­ola from Lit­tle Vil­lage, said he wasn’t shocked by the univer­sity’s an­nounce­ment, but af­ter a chal­leng­ing tran­si­tion to on­line classes this spring, he said the fall “won’t be the same” as when classes are in person.

Martinez, 21, has a schol­ar­ship that typ­i­cally se­cures him on-cam­pus hous­ing. But with the univer­sity’s sin­gle-oc­cu­pancy re­quire­ment in dorms, Martinez said he isn’t con­fi­dent there will be hous­ing avail­able for him.

“I un­der­stand we need to take care of our­selves and be re­spon­si­ble,” Martinez said. “I’m not get­ting the full ex­pe­ri­ence of liv­ing on cam­pus and be­ing im­mersed in com­mu­nity.

It’s kind of sad.”

Sal Carfagno, a mem­ber of the Loy­ola stu­dent government who is from New Jer­sey, said he found the email up­set­ting, es­pe­cially for in­com­ing fresh­men and students who scram­bled to find liv­ing ar­range­ments for the fall. Still, “there’s no col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence if you pass away from coro­n­avirus,” said Carfagno, 20, not­ing the health and safety of staff and students as the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion.

Study­ing health care ad­min­is­tra­tion, Carfagno said most of his classes rely on group as­sign­ments, a task that be­comes in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing as students have to co­or­di­nate work­ing on­line and across time zones.

“There’s peo­ple that do well in an on­line en­vi­ron­ment,” Carfagno said. “I’m just one of the ones that don’t do well . ... I’m a bet­ter hand­son learner. It’s not ideal, but it’s the safest.”

The school also plans to provide in-person cour­ses and re­search for in­ter­na­tional students — as well as do­mes­tic students. Do­ing so will per­mit in­ter­na­tional students to stay in the U.S. in light of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s or­der that in­ter­na­tional students attending schools that are en­tirely on­line can no longer stay in the coun­try.

Students will still be al­lowed to live in dorms, though the univer­sity pre­vi­ously had an­nounced that all rooms will be sin­gles, and the school is work­ing with a nearby Hamp­ton Inn to se­cure ad­di­tional rooms to house students. The univer­sity also plans to con­duct fre­quent COVID-19 test­ing and con­tact trac­ing.

Loy­ola pre­vi­ously had warned that they might move en­tirely on­line de­pend­ing on how the pan­demic evolved.


Loy­ola Univer­sity says most of its classes will be on­line this fall.

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