Students return to UAlbany campus for spring semester

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some UAlbany students will be heading back to the classrooms come Monday.

Due to the inclement weather, starting at 3 p.m. in-person classes will shift to remote February 1. For the 2021 spring semester, college officials say there will be no class cancelations because of the shortened schedule. Normally, students head back to campus in mid-January.

Overall, 40% of academics will be in-person learning for this semester. College officials are doing what they can to keep students safe on campus. “We are happy to have them back on campus. It has been a long period compared to as before that we had between semesters,” says Stephen Conard, UAlbany Emergency Management Coordinator.

UAlbany officials have implemented more COVID-19 safety protocols. More disinfecting and sanitizer stations are set up in all academic buildings.

Julia Lewis is a sophomore at UAlbany. She is glad to be back on campus for the spring semester. “I am a little nervous just to see how classes will go but I am sure it will be fine,” says Julia. Although all of her classes are remote this semester, she is coming back to get the college experience. “I just don’t want to give it up because it’s like a waste if you don’t make the most of it,” she says.

COVID-19 testing will continue on campus. Students who are not on campus will be able to get tested if they choose to. Tests will be done frequently for on-campus students; those students will need to submit weekly saliva samples. “I like that we have to do it each week because it’s really regulated I guess you can say,” says UAlbany sophomore Kimberly Hyndman. The health center on campus has PCR tests.

The majority of students and faculty were given saliva kits. Students are expected to drop off their samples in one of the numerous collection boxes across campus. “At the university, we had a home built testing operations through surveillance program run right out of our RNA Institute. While most of SUNY is utilizing medical for their saliva testing, the University of Albany is using our RNA Institute for that,” says Conard.

Julia and her friends are looking forward to seeing how the semester will treat them. “We’re here for the college experience as much as we can get it but it’s also about making it through. This is such a hard time and it’s so easy to get down and stuck in a room and not wanting to do your work and stuff. It’s important to do your best to stay motivated.”

Throughout the semester, health professionals will continue to vaccinate people at the New York State vaccination site on campus.

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