Wichita State To Start Spring Break Early, Move To Online Classes Because Of Coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020

Wichita State University is extending spring break due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Students at WSU were scheduled to start spring break March 23. The university announced Thursday that all in-person academic instruction will be canceled next week, beginning Monday.

All activities related to in-person classes — such as assignments, presentations and lab work — will be suspended for the week.

Hybrid classes — which meet in-person and online — will shift to online only classes. Fully online classes, however, will continue next week.

WSU will completely shift to online classes for two weeks following spring break, beginning March 30.

President Jay Golden said he and the Wichita State Pandemic Team will assess the situation and decide whether to resume in-person classes following the two weeks of online instruction.

“I pray that it's only two weeks,” Golden said during an interview in his office. “I cannot commit to our campus that it's going to be just two weeks. None of us know, right?"

The university will give out 400 laptops to students who don’t have access to a computer or laptop.

The campus will remain open throughout the extended spring break, but students are encouraged to move to another location if they can, WSU said in a news release.

However, athletic events are suspended as well as events with more than 150 people in attendance. 

Students can stay at the dorms if they are unable to move to another location. If students do leave, they are encouraged to take all essential belongings, medication and materials from their rooms.

The dining hall and other food options on campus will remain open as well.

The on-campus YMCA and businesses on the Innovation Campus will also remain open until further notice.

Employees will continue to work and receive pay. They should report to work as normal and follow instructions provided by their supervisor.

The university is encouraging  supervisors to be flexible with schedules, allowing employees to work remotely and stagger schedules.

Also, student employees can continue to work on campus but must coordinate with their supervisors for further instructions.

David Garcia is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.