GWU aims for on-campus ‘to the greatest extent possible’

Most in-person classes will begin Aug. 31, and end the week of Thanksgiving
By: | June 17, 2020

Leaders at The George Washington University in the nation’s capital are focused on two key areas—academic planning an operations—as they prepare to bring students and faculty back to campus.

“Our objective is clear: to offer an on-campus residential experience to the greatest extent possible in the fall,” the university says in its plan.

Most in-person classes will begin Aug. 31, and end the week of Thanksgiving, after which students will participate in two weeks of online learning.

The goal of the shortened calendar is to stymie the spread of the coronavirus by not requiring students to travel home and then come back to campus after the short holiday.


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The university will eliminate buffet-style dining in its lone dining hall, boost telemedicine services at its health center, and require everyone on campus to get flu shots and wear masks. GWU also will implement extensive social distancing policies, including:

  • Rearranging classrooms to ensure six feet between students with some exceptions for medical, nursing, physician assistant and other students in clinical settings.
  • Installing public health signage and messaging in all campus buildings, including room and elevator capacities, one-way directions for stairways and hallways and floor marks to show people where to stand and sit.
  • Reducing the density of residence halls and increasing the cleaning of shared bathrooms.
  • Reducing the number of beds in residential spaces by more than 100 by eliminating bunked beds in all units and creating six-foot distances between beds.
  • Providing immediate isolation-capable rooms with private bathrooms
  • Limiting or suspending access to lounges and communal gathering spaces and restricting residence hall access to residents only.
  • Maximizing outdoor locations on campus by tenting open areas controlled to create additional multi-use spaces.
  • Providing for an extended, coordinated move-in period during which students will be allotted specific times to move belongings into their residence hall.
  • Reducing riders on shuttles that run between the university’s campuses.

Read GWU’s full reopening plan here


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