Let’s Finish This Semester Strong
Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare to depart for spring break, we are more hopeful every day that all our campus operations for the 2021 Fall Semester will be very close to pre-pandemic normal.
The recent call from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to vaccinate college students before summer break has enabled us to offer COVID-19 vaccines more quickly than we had expected. This effort will go a long way to helping us ensure a much more normal fall semester.
We hope it also will help to reverse a troubling recent trend on our Kent Campus and throughout Portage County of an increase in cases of COVID-19. This is particularly concerning as you depart for spring break, increasing the risk of you spreading the virus throughout other areas and potentially infecting more vulnerable family members or friends.
All members of the Kent State community have access to no-cost COVID-19 testing at all CVS Minute Clinic locations. Please know before you go – get tested if you show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell.
Aside from testing and following our Flashes Safe Eight safety principles, getting vaccinated is our best defense against COVID-19.
We strongly encourage everyone to “Flash Your Arm” and get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines for students have begun at the Kent State Ice Arena on the Kent Campus and will soon be available at various locations on our Regional Campuses. Students age 18 or older may register for the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccination on the Kent Campus. Regional Campus students will receive emails with links to register for shots on their campuses.
Faculty and staff may take advantage of the vaccine clinics on Tuesdays at the Kent State Field House operated by the Portage County Combined General Health District or register for a vaccine at a pharmacy or clinic in their area using this same link to the state vaccine registration portal.
Spring break takes place April 12-18. Residence halls will close after that time as classes go fully remote. Anyone who needs housing past April 17 must sign up for summer housing.
Dining options on campus will be limited during spring break and through the end of the semester. Dining schedules during those periods can be found here.
The University Library building will be open with reduced hours from April 11-17, which are Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Current hours resume Sunday, April 18, and continue through Saturday, May 15. All Kent Campus branch libraries (architecture, fashion, map and performing arts) will close during spring break week and remain closed for the remainder of the spring semester.
The fall 2021 schedule of classes will be available in FlashFAST starting Monday, April 12. Course registration begins Friday, April 23. Visit the fall registration website for the dates for your time to register.
Fall classroom seating will be 3 feet apart, compared to 6 feet for this academic year. We came to this plan for classroom scheduling after reviewing the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with our local health commissioners. This plan will allow for more students to have the in-person learning opportunities that we know many students want. In addition to the layers of protection already in place, including the Flashes Safe Eight, COVID-19 screening testing and wastewater monitoring, the university will be installing needlepoint bipolar ionization units to enhance air purification and filtration in all academic buildings.
Please understand that any student who enrolls in an in-person class will be expected to attend in person. However, should a COVID-19 illness, isolation or quarantine arise, instructors will follow university policy and work with any student after a legitimate absence to complete missed assignments. If you are not comfortable attending class in person, please be sure to select remote courses.
Like this past academic year, our plan is flexible, and we will adjust campus operations as needed based on the disease rate, guidance from our health experts, and current state and federal guidelines.
Keep Safe on Spring Break
As we prepare to depart for spring break, it is more important than ever to rededicate ourselves to the Flashes Safe Eight safety principles: always wear a face covering, maintain safe physical distancing and practice good hand hygiene whether on campus or off.
We know that many of you may be traveling over spring break, which is even more reason to get vaccinated this week. The CDC continues to recommend that everyone delay travel until they are fully vaccinated because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.
We hope that everyone can get rested and rejuvenated over spring break to finish out strong the last few weeks of the semester. With vaccinations at hand, now is not the time to relent in our safety measures. It is time to continue our safe course and do our part to end this pandemic.
Enjoy your break and stay safe!
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee