Butler University among the latest colleges to switch to virtual learning

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Undergraduate students at Butler University will learn remotely for the first two weeks of school.

University leaders made the announcement on Sunday, citing a lack of compliance with health and safety guidelines as one of the determining factors that based their decision. Fall classes are scheduled to begin Monday.

The decision affects all undergraduate instruction. Graduate students will proceed with the university’s original planning.

“This decision was informed by our ongoing data collection and analysis. In particular, in the past 48-72 hours, we have observed lack of compliance with health and safety guidelines among a relatively small proportion of our students, resultant increases in the number of students testing positive or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, and projections regarding future cases as a result of contact tracing,” the university said in a statement.

A message sent to Butler University students and families said students will have to follow a modified “shelter in place” protocol during the two-week time period. Students are not permitted access to campus facilities outside their residence halls, dining facilities, and outdoor spaces.

“Although all in-person activities (e.g., HRC, University Athletics, and in-person student organization activities outside one’s living units) will be suspended during this time, many virtual activities will occur,” the message said in part.

“People don’t want to wear masks or they’re not social distancing,” Dean of Students Martha Dziwlik announced during a webinar on the Butler University website Sunday night. “They’re getting together in groups larger than 10. They’re putting themselves in harms way, and they’re putting others in harm’s way, and there seems to be a disrespect for other people on campus.”

Dziwlik said 50 students are charged with violating campus COVID rules such as holding and attending parties, not cooperating with contact tracing or Daily Health Checkups, or not participating in self-isolation or quarantining and could face penalties up to the suspension.

Butler University students are encouraged to use the two-week time period to demonstrate their personal commitment to health and safety guidelines that have been put in place.

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