Town hall attempts to answer students’ questions

Lee Hall, the home of FAMU’s top administrators. Photo courtesy

Florida A&M University held a virtual town hall Wednesday during which administrators and faculty members talked to students and their parents about academic plans for the upcoming fall semester.

There were many questions about classes when it came to the newly approved reopening plan that was required by state as Florida and the rest of world battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest takeaway from the town hall was that most classes except for a few labs and hybrid classes will be taught online.

“As a result, a large number of courses originally scheduled for in-person have been transitioned to the remote instruction format,” said Lewis Johnson, associate provost for studentsuccess.

During the meeting, the deans from each of the colleges and schools identified which classes would take place in person and which would be taught remotely or as a hybrid.

Safety was also addressed as many had questions about what measures and accommodations were being taken to ensure the wellness of students.

Testing for the virus prior to returning to the campus is strongly encouraged, but most students will not be mandated unless they are part of certain programs.

We’re going to have an on-campus testing site,” Provost Maurice Edington, vice president for Academic Affairs, said.

There will be temperature checkpoints at various locations on campus and classrooms. Some hallways will be marked to notate social distancing guidelines. The student code of conduct will be updated to reflect those guidelines.

Students are required to wear face masks and will be provided with such as faculty members will be provided with face guards as requested.

Several questions focused on freshmen and living situations.

Instead of the usual two-day move-in, freshmen will have 10 days to move into their residence halls. If none of their classes are in person, they are not required to live on campus.

In a change from past policy, freshmen are permitted to bring their cars to FAMU.

International students must have at least one in-person or hybrid class, or they must return to their home country, per a recent order from President Trump and federal Department of Education.

Per the approved reopening plan, students will not be on campus after Nov. 30 when the Thanksgiving break concludes, but they can leave their items and return to the same housing assignment in the spring semester. If students want to opt out of the residence hall, they will have until July 27 to inform the university.

Though there are still many questions about the upcoming semester, administrators and faculty members seem optimistic and willing to support the student body.

“In the light of this pandemic we are here to serve you and provide an opportunity for our students to continue on their road to success,” President Larry Robinson said.

Parents or students can watch the town hall meeting as well as previous town halls on the FAMU website.