UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - John Carroll University announced that on-campus living and in-classroom learning will be delayed for the first three weeks of the fall semester due to the coronavirus crisis.
Classes will start as scheduled on Aug. 31 in an online format.
Students living on-campus will not be permitted to move in until Sept. 21.
JCU will announce a decision no later than Sept. 8 on whether these delays will be extended to the full semester.
President Michael D. Johnson Ph.D. said the three-week delay gives university officials time to determine if they can safely bring students back to campus with the current variables.
The president cited these variables for the decision:
“One important variable is the current number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and Cuyahoga County, which remain higher than expected and at a concerning level. The fact that cases have not declined as expected over the summer and the infection rate among younger individuals has increased requires us to take additional time to carefully monitor the situation in the coming weeks.
Another variable is the availability of consistent, reliable COVID-19 testing with rapid results for asymptomatic individuals. Presently, we are prepared to test symptomatic students and provide quarantine and isolation options for students living on our campus. While we have conferred with medical partners and explored a number of options for rapid testing of asymptomatic individuals, the limited availability of such tests and the slow turnaround time for test results have made securing consistent and reliable testing of asymptomatic individuals across the campus community difficult at the moment. Given the rate of infection in our county and Ohio, we are actively reviewing the current situation regarding testing, including evolving public health and medical advice and available testing capabilities, and need additional time to make a determination on the best alternative for the health and safety of our campus.”
JCU said there will be no change in tuition regardless of the instructional method.
However, all room and board fees will be removed from students accounts at this time.
The university will assess charges at the end of the fall semester based on the student’s use of residence halls.
The student activity fee for the fall semester will also be cut in half while the campus parking fee will also be reduced.
Those who already paid their fees in full will receive a refund the first week of the fall term.
The Blue Streaks’ conference has also postponed sports for the fall semester.
After announcing it has postponed all sports through Dec. 31 due to continued concerns amid the COVID-19 coronavirus back on July 24, the Ohio Athletic Conference revealed its plans for some of the affected sports to compete in the spring semester on Thursday.
Football, soccer, and women’s volleyball will have conference-only competition and will not exceed the NCAA 50% waiver so that all student-athletes will retain one of their four seasons of participation.
The start dates are slated for the weekend of March 12, 2021 and the seasons will conclude the weekend of April 16 with championship games in all three sports.
The OAC has not yet announced any rescheduled plans for cross country, golf, or tennis.
The start of the winter-season sports basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling will also be postponed until the new year, but no plans have been announced for those sports either.