Winter quarter classes will look a lot like fall quarter classes with a high majority of classes meeting online, single-occupancy rooms in residence halls and a mainly closed campus, according to an email sent to students and faculty Monday afternoon. DePaul will hold just 4.2 percent of classes on campus in the winter compared to just two percent from this quarter.
“As you know, COVID-19 remains a serious threat in the Chicago area,” the email read. “Public health experts expect winter — with flu season and fewer opportunities to socialize outdoors — to pose a challenge. In light of this, we are planning for the winter term at DePaul to look very similar to fall.”
This announcement comes just weeks before students will choose classes for the winter quarter. Campus amenities like the Ray, limited computer labs and the library will stay available in the winter as they are currently running.
The city of Chicago entered phase four of their Covid-19 guidelines on June 26 and has remained there since. DePaul announced on Aug. 19 that the vast majority of fall quarter classes would be held online, and the winter quarter would most likely be online as well.
“As of right now, we are expecting that winter will be like [the] fall,” Faculty Council President Scott Paeth said in August.
In the winter, the student activity fee and athletics fee will be canceled and the U-Pass free will be optional for students once again. Residence hall occupancy is expected to be “slightly expanded” but students will continue to live in single-occupancy rooms. Chicago’s travel order will still be followed for the winter quarter as well.
“We are currently reviewing residence hall occupancy levels and considering a modest expansion of the number of students living on campus during the winter term,” the email read. “As in the fall term, residential students will be provided with single-occupancy rooms and dedicated washrooms. Students who already live in residence halls will be automatically approved for winter. Next steps for applying for winter residency will be shared with students soon.”
The winter quarter will start on Monday, Jan. 4. This is the first official update the university has released about Covid-19 guidelines for winter quarter.
“We will continue to follow our planning principles to keep our community safe,” the email read. “We will keep paying close attention to COVID-19 data and listening to medical and public health experts, and we will bring more students and employees back to campus when we believe we can do so while continuing to effectively manage the potential health risks to the university and local community.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.