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Montclair State Plans for Possibility of Another Online Semester

by Jenna Sundel

Registration for the fall 2020 semester began on Wednesday, April 15, but it is still unclear whether the semester will be taking place in person or online.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, it was announced on Wednesday, April 8 that all summer 2020 classes will take place online.

Vice President of Student Development and Campus Life Karen Pennington also said that new student orientation will be held online.

“New student orientation is currently planned for online with alternate plans for on-campus experiences, depending on state regulations,” Pennington said.

As of right now, Montclair State University is planning for on-campus instruction in the fall, according to Vice President of Communications and Marketing Joseph Brennan. However, contingency plans are being made and will comply with any future government regulations.

“But, of course, the university cannot control the course of the coronavirus, and we are subject to any regulations that may be issued by the government,” Brennan said. “We will analyze the situation as it develops and prepare contingency plans to use if necessary.”

Rich Wolfson, the president of Montclair State’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, and Mary Wallace, president of the Montclair State University Federation of Adjunct Faculty, said professors have not heard anything about how the fall semester will be conducted.

“At this moment everything is up in the air,” Wallace said. “No one has a crystal ball about what is happening even next week.”

Students are also unsure of what their fall semester will look like.

Hailey Mayewski, a freshman journalism major, believes another online semester is possible but is hoping for on-campus instruction.

Freshman journalism major Hailey Mayewski thinks the fall semester may be online.
Photo courtesy of Hailey Mayewski

“Sadly, I do see the possibility of another online semester, however I really hope that it does not become a reality,” Mayewski said. “Especially for students taking very hands-on classes in the communications building, I’m not sure how another online semester would go.”

Student Government Association Executive Secretary Paulette Gando-Dueñas, a sophomore history major, is willing to do another online semester if it is still unsafe to be on campus in the fall.

“If it will better the course of the virus, then so be it,” Gando-Dueñas said. “I don’t ever want to be in a position where students’ lives are being [put] at risk.”

Sophomore history major and Student Government Association Executive Secretary Paulette Gando-Dueñas wants safety to be a priority in this decision.
Photo courtesy of Paulette Gando-Dueñas

Brennan said that the university will reveal more information as the semester gets closer.

“With each passing month we will have more information to work with, and we will continue to keep the campus community informed,” Brennan said.


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