WVU System of Schools gearing up for start of fall semester

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The WVU System of Schools is gearing up to start classes for the fall semester.

WVU Tech is starting the fall semester this week on August 19. They’ve been prepping for months, putting in precautions and figuring out ways to keep their students safe.

WVU Tech Campus President Carolyn Long says that it’s a pleasure to begin the new semester, but everyone is definitely anxious about the pandemic. 

“First of all, we’re excited that the students are here of course and excited to get back to work. But I think everybody of course has a little bit of apprehension,” Long said.

WVU Tech has put in dozens of different precautions to keep everyone safe. Some classes are hybrid, social distancing and mask-wearing is required nearly everywhere, students and faculty receive free packets of PPE, rooms are cleaned daily and many other precautions are being made. 

“First day of classes of course will be a challenge for all of us, as it always is. But this time it will be a little different as we try to maneuver our way through all of this.”

On the main campus in Morgantown, classes are starting a week later. That campus has roughly 20,000 students, compared to the just 1,100 WVU Tech has. The huge student population is making some students worry about the start of the fall semester.

“I’ve noticed a lot of people are walking around downtown without masks and they’re in very large groups. And I’m just a little bit nervous about my classmates more so than myself, just because I feel like it’s gonna spread very very quickly,” one student said.

Despite the potential issues, many students believe WVU is doing the best they can given the situation, but it won’t stop what students do while they’re off-campus. Just recently WVU was made aware of off-campus parties where hundreds of students gathered. 

“WVU is doing a really good job of setting in rules that we can maintain while on campus, but it’s really hard to control a bunch of college students while they’re off-campus in their free time.”

The WVU System of Schools does have punishments in mind for students caught holding large gatherings. Despite them being off-campus, students are still held to the school’s code of conduct at all times, and disciplinary action could be taken.

Classes begin at WVU Tech this Wednesday on August 19, and on the main campus in Morgantown on August 26.