Harrisburg University will be face-to-face in spring semester, keeps eye on omicron variant

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Some colleges and universities nationwide have announced plans to start the spring semester virtually because of the omicron variant. Harrisburg University is one on the list reevaluating how to return from the holiday break, but for now, it will be face-to-face.

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The university spent all last academic year virtually, so officials have what it takes to make tough decisions.

Dr. Eric Darr, university president, says that as of Monday, Dec. 20, they plan on starting the upcoming semester with in-person learning in Harrisburg and at its Philadelphia campus, as well. Darr adds that they continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic in the city and surrounding region.

According to Darr, the university has had its share of cases, and students, faculty, and staff continue to do their part to stay safe and healthy and minimize the risk of infecting others.

“Even if we decide to go virtual there are still 50 or 60 students who would remain and we have to figure out how to feed the students and make sure they stay well and remain safe so there are a whole set of considerations,” Darr said.

Graduate students at the university have remained virtual this fall semester. Darr has a group of 12 people who meet and talk often to help him make a future decision on whether to go virtual or maintain in-person learning.

“So if the city like Philadelphia or Harrisburg, what they put in particular restrictions in place, we would have to follow those restrictions or if the state would implement certain guidelines we would have to follow whatever they demand of us,” Darr added.

While they are starting the semester in person, Darr says they will not hesitate to go virtual if things change and that the health and safety of the Harrisburg University community remain the top priority.

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