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Provost: University aiming for 'mostly in-person' fall quarter

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Provost Mark Richards held a public forum at the ASUW Student Senate meeting Tuesday where he discussed the university’s plans for reopening campus. 

“Our hope is to be mostly in person in the fall, both in terms of academics and student activities,” Richards said.

The university currently aims to offer classes with fewer than 200 students in person, depending on how social distancing guidelines change by fall.

Current rules require maintaining six feet of distance from others. The university expects this to be reduced to three feet by fall, which would quadruple classroom capacity. Either way, masks will likely be required on campus, Richards said.

University leaders have not yet made a decision on mandating vaccines as other colleges have done, according to spokesperson Michelle Ma.

“It’s not clear that mandating vaccinations would lead to a higher number of vaccinations,” Richards said. “All indications now are that if we work with UW [Medical] Center and have pop-up vaccination sites, we will have 80% or better of the students vaccinated.”

Richards said summer quarter will still be mostly remote, given that the remote “summer session went superbly well last summer” and “vaccination uptake for the summer is highly uncertain.”

Moving forward, Richards said remote and asynchronous options for in-person classes will be offered when “professors find that possible and desirable.” The administration will not mandate lecture capture.

Following the forum, the senate passed a bill urging the university to support accessible learning technologies

The measure calls for fully remote asynchronous course options for all classes during the pandemic, technological and administrative support for course instructors, lecture capture for all lecture-based classes, mandatory questions on course evaluations regarding instructor compliance with lecture recording guidelines, and several other accessibility expansions.

The ASUW Student Senate meets via Zoom webinar on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST. The meeting link can be found on the senate website

Correction: A previous version of the article said COVID-19 vaccines would not be required to attend the UW in the fall. The university has yet to make a decision on this.

Reach Assistant News Editor Annie Denton at Twitter: @anniesdenton

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