Ohio Wesleyan University is announcing plans to welcome all students to live and learn on campus during fall semester, with all offices open in-person. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

A ‘Robust’ Return

Ohio Wesleyan Announces Plans for On-Campus Fall Semester

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University today announced plans and protocols for fall semester, which will include “a robust campus life,” President Rock Jones says.

In a message to students and employees, Jones, Ph.D., announced:

“Now, as vaccines are rolling out and infection rates are declining, I am delighted to announce that we have begun preparations for a fall semester with a robust campus life. … [W]e are bringing together faculty, staff, and administrators to develop plans for a safe, healthy, and engaged living and learning environment for our campus this fall.

“By the beginning of fall semester, the campus and classrooms may not look exactly as they did before COVID-19, but our goal is to be in-person while following recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and other public health officials. We will continue to keep you informed as we make progress with these plans and as specific decisions are made.”

At this time, Ohio Wesleyan’s plans for fall 2021 include the following:

  • All students will be on campus for the semester.
  • Students will be required to be inoculated for the coronavirus, contingent on the availability of vaccines. They will be able to apply for an exemption under certain circumstances. “As with our requirements for students to have other vaccines,” Jones said, “we make this decision as a way to keep our entire campus community safe.”
  • Classes will be held in-person, with the potential that some may be conducted remotely.
  • All student services and offices will be open on campus and operating in-person.
  • New student orientation will be held online this summer, but all new students will complete in-person Camp Oh-Wooo experiences before classes begin.
  • Requirements for face masks and other personal protection equipment will be based on the latest recommendations from public health officials.

“Any of these plans may change based on the progress of the coronavirus variants or other unforeseen developments,” Jones told the campus community. “Indeed, the well-being of our campus community is paramount. We also believe fervently in the value of learning face-to-face in our classrooms, labs, and studios and living in a vibrant and diverse learning community.

“In the weeks ahead, we will continue to evaluate the progress of vaccinations, the spread of the virus, and forecasts for the summer and fall,” he said. “And we will keep you informed as decisions are made regarding teaching and learning, housing and dining, campus activities, athletics, and working situations for faculty and staff.”

More information about Ohio Wesleyan’s response to the pandemic is available in the university’s Safe Campus Guide at owu.edu/safecampus.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more undergraduate majors than many universities its size and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.