Many universities across the country have been announcing their respective plans for Winter Semester 2021.
Brigham Young University followed suit.
University Communications sent an email on October 12 detailing the current plans for next semester, which will be similar to this Fall Semester — a mix of in-person, remote and hybrid classes.
Many are eager to continue in-person classes.
“I am personally super excited about it. I feel like you can’t replace in-person learning,” said BYU freshman Brooklyn Jones.
But still, some have differing opinions on the matter.
“I have decidedly mixed feelings about the idea,” said BYU biology professor Brian Poole.
This Fall Semester was off to a rough start. As of October 11, BYU’s total number of reported cases is more than 1,600.
“I hope that when we return for Winter Semester, we will not have to re-learn the lessons that we learned in fall,” Poole said.
An additional concern is the virus’ collision with the flu season, which typically heightens at the beginning of the year.
“I can understand why some people would be concerned,” Jones said.
“The flu is a serious enough disease by itself that when we mix it with coronavirus, that could be kind of scary,” Poole said.
But, as Professor Poole says…
“Get your flu shots to make it less big of a deal.”
While some students are excited to return to campus next semester, others are looking forward to again having the option of online classes. “Personally I’m looking to do a lot of the online and remote classes. They’ve been really helpful for me,” said BYU senior Andrew Dossett.
BYU also says the start of Winter Semester classes will be delayed by one week to allow more time between the holidays and the beginning of classes.
“You know, usually you don’t have that big of a break during the wintertime, so I think it will be really good, really nice,” Dossett said.
Winter Semester classes will begin January 11 and end April 14. Until then, hopefully BYU’s “encouraging” decline in cases — as university officials called it — will continue.
”As long as we all try to do our best, it’ll go as it’ll go, I guess,” Jones said.
University Communications added that this decision is fluid and may change depending on COVID-19 trends and guidance from state and local governments.