Cornell says in-person learning is best for public health

Cornell University has decided that the institution will bring students back to campus for in-person instruction in the fall unlike Harvard, which is opting for online classes only at $50,000. 

Chocolate Waffles and CoffeeAs colleges around the country grapple with how to reopen in the fall, Cornell University’s president on Tuesday announced that it will welcome students back to campus – an option she said is best not only for their education, but also public health.

The Ivy League university decided that compared with holding classes only online, residential learning would be safer for students and the wider community because it can ask students to participate in a screening program to detect and contain any spread of the coronavirus, President Martha Pollack said.

‘The key consideration in our decision to reopen is public health,’ Pollack said in a statement.

The university will also keep its 3.6 per cent tuition increase for the upcoming school year, despite the pandemic. 

School administrators estimate that the university will report about a $210million loss due to the pandemic this coming fiscal year. 

Cornell University (aerial view pictured) decided that the institution will bring students back to campus for in-person instruction in the fall unlike Harvard

In contrast, many other universities around the country, citing concerns for the health of students and faculty, have developed plans to bring smaller numbers of students to campus or emphasize online instruction. 

Dozens of others have announced plans to reopen with modifications to campus life.

Harvard announced on Monday that ‘all course instruction (undergraduate and graduate) for the 2020-21 academic year will be delivered online’. 

Harvard said it will invite first-year students to live on campus, but classes will stay online. 

‘Students will learn remotely, whether or not they live on campus,’ school administrators said.  

Modeling by a Cornell research team determined that two to 10 times more people could be infected with COVID-19 during an online-only semester, with significantly higher numbers becoming seriously ill.  

That’s because many students planned to return to off-campus housing in Ithaca, New York, where the university is located, and it would have no authority to mandate testing or restrict student behavior if instruction was done remotely.

Some campuses already are seeing flareups of the virus among students living off-campus.

Harvard University (file image) announced Monday that all learning will be done remotely and tuition will remain at nearly $50,000

Officials at the University of Washington said at least 38 students living in 10 fraternity houses had tested positive as of Tuesday. 

House residents are being asked to self-quarantine and a testing site was opened nearby.

Officials said the frat house cluster offers a lesson to students preparing to return to campus this fall. 

‘If everyone does their part to keep each other safe, we can continue to engage with one another and with our studies in the University environment by wearing face coverings and remaining physically distant,’ Dr Geoffrey Gottlieb, chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, said in a statement.

It follows a cluster of cases reported earlier this month among fraternity members at the University of Mississippi.





Harvard University says ALL learning will be done remotely… University of Southern California is still planning to RAISE…

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Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said most people in town will be relieved because it would be ‘catastrophic’ for the economy if students did not return.

‘Yes, bringing people back into town might increase the spread of the virus,’ Myrick said.

‘But Cornell´s methodology, the reasoning it took to make this decision was very sound. The testing regimen they´re proposing is very, very robust.’

As planned, Cornell students will be subject to agreements to follow public health guidelines and comply with a testing program. 

Testing will start before or upon students’ arrival in Ithaca, followed by frequent screening and a daily online health questionnaire. 

Meanwhile, international students have been targeted by new guidelines that were issued on Monday. The guidelines say that international students will be forced to leave the US if their schools decide to only offer instruction online. Students are pictured at Princeton University 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched an all-out effort pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, arguing that some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons