The committee has developed a comprehensive plan to continue to deliver Marist’s high-quality academic offerings in a manner that places community safety at the forefront. The traditional start of the spring term coincides with an expected surge of COVID-19 cases, the peak of the flu season, and the coldest part of the winter. Accordingly, the semester will begin on February 15 with remote coursework, while in-person classroom-based classes will begin on March 1. The spring semester will conclude on May 28. In addition to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on campus, we hope that the delayed opening will enable students to take advantage of the improving weather to participate in outdoor co-curricular and recreational events.
Elimination of semester breaks and holidays: Similar to our strategy for the fall, we will be eliminating multi-day breaks such as spring break and the Easter holiday. This will reduce travel and reinforce the concept of Marist as an “island.” Medical professionals advise that the more people one comes into contact with, the greater the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Thus, we want to minimize the number of people coming to campus, as well as the number of people leaving campus and then returning.
Elimination of Saturday classes: During the fall, we held classes on Saturdays so we could successfully complete the on-ground portion of the semester by the Thanksgiving break. This was done in order to prevent students returning back to Marist from all parts of the country after the holiday. Because we are canceling semester breaks and holidays, we believe it is no longer necessary to hold Saturday classes. In addition, both faculty and students said that they believed eliminating Saturday classes would enhance the learning experience at Marist. However, we will still be prohibiting all non-essential travel by students as a way to protect the health and safety of the Marist community.
Additional measures to protect the Marist community are highlighted on the site, and further details will be forthcoming.