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University of North Alabama students won't be back on campus after Thanksgiving break

The university said after the Thanksgiving holiday, there are only seven days on the academic calendar.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 3:41 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 6:06 PM

The University of North Alabama said after Thanksgiving, there are only seven academic days left in the semester and rather than having everyone back on campus after the holiday, the university decided there won't be any in-person classes until January.

"I've had online classes before. I don't think it's going to be any different from then. It's just going to be I'm not on campus at this point," said UNA student, Jaime Hensley.

Hensley said having the rest of her semester online along with finals isn't a big deal, but coronavirus has affected what classes the aspiring teacher takes this year. She can't go into public schools and do her required observation hours for her education degree.

"I've just completely avoided taking my education classes as a secondary major. I also have to major in social science as well, so I'm trying to complete it. Hopefully, by next semester or the semester after next, they will have more functionality with it," said Hensley.

UNA spokesperson, Michelle Eubanks, said students who live on campus will still get to do so.

"All of the student services, the library, the student success center, the main market, all of the resources that they depend upon will still be open and available until the traditional close of campus for holiday break," said Eubanks.

UNA reported 27 new cases of coronavirus this week. Since Aug. 19, the campus community has had 238. Eubanks said that's a slight uptick in cases but not the reason they are going online-only after Thanksgiving break.

"When we looked at the calendar, there were seven academic days left and so it made sense that we would not want them to come back as it were to the classroom," said Eubanks.

Registered student organizations like fraternities and sororities will have to get any fall formal plans or events approved by the office of student engagement. The university said it's handling those on a case-by-case basis.

Right now, the spring semester for students will start mid-January and will be in-person classes. The university's coronavirus task force is constantly monitoring the situation on campus.

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