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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Classes to remain online for spring semester as pandemic persists

File Photo by Sophia Young | Contributing Photo Editor
Classes will be held online with “limited exceptions,” and in-person commencement ceremonies are likely canceled.

Students will continue taking most courses online for the spring semester.

Officials announced at a Faculty Senate meeting and in an email to the University community Friday afternoon that all undergraduate courses and “most” graduate programs will be conducted online this spring. Administrators will continue providing a 10 percent tuition reduction to Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon undergraduate students who do not live on campus.

“Managing this pandemic has called on us all to do our part to keep the community healthy and safe, and to support one another through these difficult decisions,” officials said in the email. “We again want to thank you for your understanding and patience as we make adjustments for the spring and ensure we continue to fulfill our core academic mission together.”

At the senate meeting, University President Thomas LeBlanc said the decision was made as a result of the “unlikelihood” of material change in the spread of the virus during the next several months and a need for students to have definitive information to prepare for the semester.

He said members of the GW community staying on campus in the spring will need to undergo the University’s safety protocols — which include weekly testing and social distancing — and reserve access to GW buildings.

“When I say being virtual in the spring, I mean essentially it will look a lot like it looks right now,” LeBlanc said at the meeting.

He added that administrators consulted with the senate’s executive committee, Student Association leadership and the Board of Trustees and heard a consensus to continue virtual instruction for the spring semester.

Officials began meeting about the spring last month and said a campus presence would be likely “limited.”

Administrators said most undergraduate students’ financial aid packages will remain the same unless they change their enrollment or residential living statuses.

“We remain committed to ensuring that students’ out-of-pocket university costs are equal to or less than an on-campus residential experience,” officials said in the announcement.

Administrators also said they do not anticipate holding Commencement on the National Mall or on campus next May and will provide more information about virtual commencement plans soon.

Officials said the decision will not change GW’s estimated annual budget gap, which is expected to reach $160 million.

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