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PASSHE Board Discusses Plans For Students Returning To State-Run Universities In August

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - In less than a month, students will return to the campuses of Pennsylvania's state-run universities.

The Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) board of governors met Thursday morning to discuss the plans for the 14 schools.

"Despite the pandemic, nevertheless we continue to educate our students," Sheleta Camarda-Webb, president of the State College and University Professional Association, told the board of governors Thursday morning.

The 14 state-run universities unveiled their plans for the upcoming school year one day ahead of the board of governors meeting. While students will return to all of the campuses, some of the schools will offer hybrid learning.

"We know that universities that have large endowments are able to make a different set of choices about how they will respond to this pandemic than those that do not have large endowments," said PASSHE Chancellor David Greenstein.

Aug. 17 is the day classes will begin for most of the universities, with the exception of IUP, which will start classes on Aug. 24.

On-campus students will stay in private bedrooms, and dining options will be to-go and mobile order style.

At Cal U, classes end Nov. 19, one week before Thanksgiving. Cal U Students who requested roommates will live as family units. Those who didn't request a roommate will have a single room for social distancing.

Classes at Clarion University end Dec. 14, but students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving, and will take final exams remotely.

Not everyone supports students returning to campus.

A faculty union representative says a majority of faculty don't feel safe going back into the classroom.

"In a survey we asked faculty if they felt they could teach safely face-to-face in the fall, and 71 percent said no," said Jamie Martin, President of the Association of Pa. State College and University Faculties.

Classes at Edinboro at Slippery Rock end Nov. 20. The dorms will be single units. Cash payments will not be allowed in the dining rooms at Edinboro.

Cash is allowed at Slippery Rock, though touchless payments are strongly encouraged.

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