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Tuesday, Jan 05, 2021 at 9:24 pm

Students and Faculty Respond to the Spring Semester Push-Back

Yaw Bonsu, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse University has delayed the start of the spring semester. As of now, classes are scheduled to begin February 8th and end on May 21st.

“This decision was made in consultation with the Onondaga County Health Department,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in an email to students, family, faculty, and staff. “Starting our semester two weeks later best positions us to resume residential instruction…”

Upon reading the email adjunct instructor Kristen Exner was delighted to know she had more time to prepare her coursework. However, her plans for May had to change.

“We’ll have to re-evaluate our travel plans as we were going to take a family trip in early May,” Exner said. “I don’t know that two weeks is going to make a difference…it doesn’t really impact me as much as it would impact someone else on campus.”

Off-campus students now face the problem of leases expiring. Many residents have contracts that expire before the end of the semester. Skyler Hall, a senior living at University Hill, says the
delay causes many unnecessary problems.

“They [the school] need to put money towards students’ rent who need it,” Hall said. Along with many off-campus students, Hall may face the expense of an extra month of living. “I feel like
making this decision, they only had residential students in mind.”

Exner added that she wants to see the school assist students. “I need a task force that is going to come up with solutions for these students,” Exner said.

One of the end goals for the university is to have a safe and as normal of graduation as possible. Dr. David Larsen played an important role in guiding the school’s decision. Larsen has
no doubt that graduation can happen.

“If we knock transmission down within the student body then why not have graduation,” Dr. Larsen, said. “I’m hoping that students come back ready to engage in a social distancing paradigm.”