NWA colleges adopt disparate pandemic policies as students return
The K–12 kiddos are already back at school. Next week it's college students' turn.
University of Arkansas
What's happening: Students, faculty, and staff must wear masks on campus, but the university has pulled back on two pandemic policies.
- Students will no longer be guaranteed the option of online learning. Faculty teaching in-person classes may allow students an online option on a case-by-case basis, but the classes must be taught in person, U of A spokesperson John Thomas tells Axios.
- U of A is also returning to its usual requirement that freshmen live on campus, with few exceptions, Thomas says.
What it means: College dorms are basically the exact opposite of social distancing — and one of the few places on campus where masks will not be required.
- Last school year, the university allowed first-year students to cite COVID-19 as a reason for living off campus. Not anymore.
- Freshmen can apply to live off-campus with U of A's standard exemption form, which clearly states they are unlikely to be approved unless they are living nearby with a parent or guardian.
- And no, students cannot ask to live with a vaccinated roommate or refuse to live with a fellow student who isn't vaxxed. Thomas says the university does not ask students their vaccination status.
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
- NWACC announced Wednesday that masks are now required for students, faculty and staff anywhere indoors on campus.
- Classes will be offered in-person, hybrid, and online. "Students can choose which format that they feel most comfortable taking," Liz Kapsner, NWACC spokesperson, tells Axios.
- Of note: The community college does not have on-campus housing.
1 missing thing: We don't know the vaccination rates of either U of A or NWACC. A spokesperson with the Arkansas Department of Health tells Axios the data is not available yet.
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