Chancellor cancels in-person instruction, calls for students to return home

Chancellor+Jones+speaks+about+the+Sate+of+the+University+at+the+Illini+ballroom+on+Jan+24.

Mark Capapas

Chancellor Jones speaks about the Sate of the University at the Illini ballroom on Jan 24.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

With the daily escalation of the COVID-19 disease, University administration wants campus to be cleared out.

The University is suspending all in-person instruction for the rest of the spring semester and is requiring all students “who can safely do so” to return to their permanent addresses, according to Chancellor Robert Jones in a Massmail on Monday evening.

The mass move out includes students in University Housing residence halls, Greek houses and Private Certified Housing.

In a follow-up Massmail, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Danita B. Young said students in University Housing should make plans to move out between Tuesday and March 28. Those who are ill, immunocompromised or out-of-state were encouraged to fill out a move-out extension form.

All halls besides Wardall Hall will be open for check-out from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, then Wednesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Though halls officially reopen on March 22, official check outs will only be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To adhere with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for social distancing, Young said students with odd-numbered rooms should plan to move out on odd-numbered days, like March 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27. Students with even-numbered rooms should move out on even-numbered days within the range.

“Please limit the number of individuals helping you move out to two,” Young said.

For those unable to move out by March 28, continued housing is available at Bousfield, Nugent, Wassaja, Sherman, Daniels and PAR halls. Residents who live in those halls can remain in their current rooms. The form for continued housing must be completed by Wednesday.

Dining options are available, though the delivery methods are changing.

“(Ikenberry Dining Hall), PAR Dining Hall, 57 North and Urbana South Market. Meals will be served on paper products and available as grab-and-go,” Young said.

Other updates

Jones reiterated that University is not ceasing operations, and research offices will not close.

“Students, staff and faculty should continue to attend class, teach and work as scheduled,” Jones said.

Jones said details regarding commencement and other end-of-year events “will be shared at a later time.”

Meanwhile, all other campus events, including those by student organizations, are canceled for the rest of the semester.

“I understand that we are asking all of you to help us face a challenge of a scale and magnitude that has rarely before been seen here at our university,” Jones said. “I cannot tell you when we will come out on the other side of this outbreak. And there may be new changes or new announcements in response to changing circumstances in the days to come, but I can promise you that we will communicate as openly, honestly and quickly as we can.”

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This is a developing story. The Daily Illini will update as more information is released.