Robert Morris University unveils plan for keeping students, employees safe this fall

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Students will back on local college campuses this fall despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and several schools have already released their plans on how they will handle safety measures.

Administrators at Robert Morris University walked Channel 11 through its plan on keeping students, faculty and staff safe.

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John Michalenko, RMU’s vice president of student life, said he is confident in a safe start to the 2020 fall semester. A big part of the school’s plan relies heavily on spacing.

That means fall classes will be held both in physically distanced, on-campus classes and online classes. Michalenko told Channel 11 the 50-50 approach is a must.

“With the physical distancing, we’re doing a virtual rotation where half the students would come into class on Thursday, while the other half is online. And then that Tuesday they would reverse it,” he said.

Students also have the option of replacing all of their classes with online courses if they prefer to have a full course load online.

And even before students return to campus, RMU is encouraging all students to self-quarantine for two weeks if possible. And school officials said there is no plan in place to randomly test students for COVID-19.

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But it’s something they are looking into.

As for living dining and dining arrangements, the university will be handing out nearly 12,000 masks to all students when they return to campus. And they will be required in cafeterias like this one and in all campus buildings.

Because of the pandemic, Michalenko said even more eating options will be available to spread things out.

Residence halls will remain open but will be “de-densified,” meaning many students will be living alone. More than 40% of RMU’s housing will be single occupancy rooms.

The first move-in day is set for Aug. 21, and you can find the university’s move-in guide below: