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The Scarlet & Black

Classes to remain remote for fall term 2; third-year students will not be returning to campus


By Eva Hill

In the wake of skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rates in Iowa, the College will be proceeding with all-remote instruction for the Oct. 29 – Dec. 22 term, Fall 2, as opposed to the hybrid model that had previously been proposed for the period. Third-year students will also no longer be invited to campus for the period.

According to President Anne Harris’s Monday email announcing the change, “a very small number” of students graduating mid-year will be permitted to live on campus. The petition for continuous residence on campus necessitated by severe circumstances has reopened and is available to students through a link in the announcement email.

This is the second time that worsening pandemic conditions have caused the College to rescind on-campus living invitations for a large group of students. Previously, the school announced in mid-July that first-year and transfer students invited to campus for Fall Term 1 would no longer be able to live in Grinnell, and that classes would be remote rather than hybrid.

But despite the lack of warning that such a change was in the works, it wasn’t much of a shock to most third-year students.

“I was disappointed, but not surprised,” wrote Annika Little ’22 in a Facebook message with The S&B. Little is a Chinese and chemistry double-major who was scheduled to take a hybrid lab class in F2. Now, she’s worried that she may not have any in-person lab time for the entirety of her third year.

Jax Seiler ’22 was similarly unsurprised by the announcement. “I’m honestly more surprised they told us it was a possibility in the first place,” he said. Asked if he thought the school could have given more notice of the change, he added, “I think they should have assumed that earlier instead of holding onto a blind hope that Iowa of all places would be safe by October. I don’t think with this plan they could have given more notice, but it’s not a great plan in the first place.”

To Sarah Licht ’22, who, like Little and Seiler, was planning to move to campus for F2, the change “feels like a massive betrayal.”

“I feel like they put all of their focus on making sure the underclassmen didn’t leave with all of their tuition money, and we once again got left in the dust,” Licht wrote.

Little described the College’s communication regarding in-person status and campus residency as “frustrating.”

“I just wish the college would commit to a single plan—even if that means we commit to being fully online—rather than stringing everyone along,” she wrote.

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