School was scheduled to formally begin at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Wednesday, with most classes offered in either hybrid or remote options.
Faculty members have been on campus since Monday, and first-time freshmen enrolled Tuesday in UNIV 100, a mandatory, three-credit seminar offered to incoming students to help them bridge from high school to higher learning at UL.
“Students moved in over the weekend,” said campus spokesman Eric Maron. “We are continuing as we left off last fall, in hybrid or remote classes. Some classes are working on rotating schedules, meeting once a week in person and online for the other class.”
Remote classes meet only online.
Maron said dorms, much like last semester, will operate under restrictions, including a “no-visitors” policy in the rooms. And students must present ID to enter dorms.
“We worked well together,” Maron said of students, faculty and staff who conducted a full semester — it ended at Thanksgiving — during a pandemic. He said masks were mandatory on campus last semester — it is the same this semester — as is social distancing.
Free COVID-19 testing is again available on campus. The campus said on its website that the testing is available near the Student Union and Cypress Lake Plaza. Registration is required and preregistration is available.
The effort to thwart COVID-19 has continued since the spring 2020 semester, university President E. Joseph Savoie said in his blog, published this week on the campus website.
“This is the fourth semester the University has confronted the challenges of COVID-19,” he wrote. “It will be one year in March that the pandemic first altered most aspects of campus life and operations. Ten months later, the virus remains a real and present danger.”
In his blog, Savoie noted the campus offers resources to promote student health and well-being, including in-person and telehealth counseling sessions. He urged people on campus to follow practices to mitigate the impact of COVID-19: Wear masks or face coverings, social distance, wash hands frequently and limit gatherings — and stay at home if you are sick.
The UL community should take heart in that fact that vaccines have been “developed and released,” he wrote.
Savoie also made note of the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, effected by a mob that gathered outside the national seat of government and overran police who are mandated with protecting elected leaders in the House and Senate.
“Their actions were reprehensible and an affront to our nation’s standing as the world’s oldest constitutional democracy,” he said. “These events should remind us to recommit ourselves to the fundamental role universities play in exhibiting the power of critical thought, the value of engaged and responsible citizenship, and the strength of a pluralistic society governed by laws and protected by equal justice.”