Spring quarter to remain remote, plans underway to return in-person for fall


Eric Henry

The statue of John J. Egan, located outside of the Lincoln Park Student Center, wearing a mask.

DePaul plans to maintain similar remote circumstances for the upcoming spring quarter, with the hopes of holding in-person classes by fall quarter of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Spring quarter will be similar to winter and fall quarters with a small percentage of classes being offered in person, according to a Friday Newsline announcement.

The article was written by university President A. Gabriel Esteban, interim Provost Salma Ghanem and interim Executive Vice President Sherri Sidler.

While remote learning continues, resident halls will remain open for a certain amount of students. The activity and athletic fee will be waived and the U-Pass will be optional. 

DePaul’s current plan for spring quarter calls for a very limited number of in-person classes, similar to fall and winter quarters, and maintaining the current levels of residence hall occupancy,” the article reads. “We are making these difficult choices to maintain a healthy campus and to help slow the spread of Covid-19.”

More in-person classes will be offered in the summer, with plans to reintroduce employees as well. 

In preparation for returning in the fall, DePaul will launch a surveillance testing program starting next month to identify which students are at high risk for exposure with in-person classes. 

“The university will work with our colleges and schools to identify groups of students with on-campus courses who are at higher-risk for Covid-19 exposure,” the article reads. “These students will be contacted through their academic programs with more information on the testing, which will be performed on campus by an outside vendor and billed to the students’ insurance providers.”

More students will be added to the testing group depending on additional consistent travel to campus.

The article said that after almost a year of remote learning, receiving the vaccine will be a key part in transitioning from the pandemic back to normal life. 

“We encourage you to be vaccinated when it is your turn,” the article reads. “Equally important will be the measures of disease prevention and health and wellness promotion that we began putting in place last spring.”

However, DePaul has not released any comprehensive vaccine plan for students, faculty or staff. 

This announcement comes after Esteban said vaccination will not be a priority for students or staff when returning to campus in the fall.

DePaul will remain in contact with medical partners AMITA and stakeholders in order to develop proper guidance and processes on returning to campus.