This week, colleges struggled to house their larger-than-expected student populations, public universities went head to head with their state governments over Covid policies, several colleges announced revised masking and Covid testing requirements, and 12 varsity sports will be added at one campus.
Given increased deferrals in 2020, over-enrollment in 2021, and scaled back study abroad opportunities, it’s no surprise that many colleges and universities are experiencing a housing shortage. Middlebury College in Vermont is offering ski passes to entice students to live about 10 miles away from campus, while Dartmouth offered students $5,000 to live off campus. And still…there are students on housing waitlists. Public colleges have been impacted, too. This of course begs the question of whether colleges will admit smaller classes this year as a result.
The University of Arizona and Arizona State University have determined that students will be required to wear masks on campus, regardless of vaccination status. The decision comes after months of disagreement with Governor Ducey, who is against mask mandates.
Speaking of public universities battling with the government over Covid policies…the Supreme Court will not block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate, marking the first time the Court has weighed in on the legality of such policies.
And while we’re on the topic of campus Covid policies, the Stanford Daily reports that Stanford University will require weekly Covid testing, regardless of vaccination status. The decision comes as the university tightens campus restrictions amid the surge in cases of the highly contagious Delta variant. Harvard, Brown, and Princeton are also requiring regular testing, regardless of vaccination status.
Finally, in news completely unrelated to Covid (yay!), Hobart and William Smith Colleges have announced that over the next five years they will be instituting 12 new varsity sports programs: six for women and six for men. In total, the Colleges estimate that the number of student-athletes will expand from approximately 575 to about 750. Something to cheer for? Count us in.