Home for the Holidays, Rose-Hulman Prepares for Demanding Winter

Wednesday, December 02, 2020
Student wearing a mask working at her laptop computer in a campus common area.

A successful fall quarter showed Rose-Hulman students know how to adapt to unusual situations. After a holiday break, they will soon be back for in-person learning and another demanding quarter on campus.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students will ring in the New Year by returning to campus in early January amid a continuation of policies and procedures that enabled the school to successfully complete a full quarter of in-person instruction in the fall.

Students, who come from nearly every state and several overseas countries, headed home in late November after finishing their fall quarter final exams. Beginning on Monday, November 30, and running through Tuesday, December 22, students have started their traditional winter quarter online. They’ll return to campus in early 2021, as part of the institute’s effort to reduce unnecessary travel amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the most recent institute academic schedule, campus will be closed to students and visitors until January 3. Prospective students can explore a variety of virtual visit options, and still connect with our counselors, faculty, and staff.

Returning students will receive COVID-19 tests when they arrive on campus in January and are being asked to avoid gathering in groups and to remain in their rooms while they await their results. Employees returning from the holiday break in January must submit a negative test result before reentering campus.
Routine weekly coronavirus testing will resume for all students, faculty, and staff beginning January 11.

Winter quarter classes are set to resume January 6 with a combination of in-person and remote instruction, socially distanced classrooms, masking, and other measures designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, much like what occurred in the fall quarter.

“Winter quarter will likely be our toughest challenge for a variety of reasons,” says institute president Robert A. Coons. “However, I am confident that we can meet this challenge with the same creativity, collaborative spirit, and mutual consideration that has gotten us this far.”

As with colleges and universities around the country, the pandemic put the top-ranked engineering, science, and mathematics college to the test this fall. While the institute’s number of COVID-19 cases began to creep higher in November as the virus was surging nationally, overall, Rose-Hulman has achieved a significantly lower positivity rate than has been recorded elsewhere in the country.

“Because of the diligence of our community, we were able to successfully complete the fall quarter in-person as planned,” says Coons. “I cannot overstate how proud I am of our entire campus community and the part each person played in making that happen, students, faculty, and staff.”

Before students returned to campus in late August, Rose-Hulman made adjustments to dining facilities, classrooms, and residence halls to fight the spread of the virus. It also developed a comprehensive set of measures designed to combat the disease, including weekly testing of all students, faculty, and staff, contact tracing, and off-campus quarantine facilities.

In addition to offering a hybrid of in-person and online instruction in the fall quarter, Rose-Hulman also conducted its fall career fair, homecoming, and other large events in a virtual setting.


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