by the writers on the Pittiful News; original article: corrections made in bold
Pitt has decided to hold classes in person in the fall but only outside, and will adjust its academic calendar to ensure semi-safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, University officials said Monday.
Provost Ann Cudd said in an email only to incoming first-year students obtained by The Pitt News, which was incorrect, that Welcome Week will take place during the week of Aug. 10. In-person classes for the fall semester will begin on Aug. 10, 2020 and end Aug. 31, 2020 due to a prophesied surge in coronavirus cases. There will be no day off on Sept. 7 for Labor Day to tribute Pitt students’ hard work, and students will not be returning to campus after Thanksgiving break. Classes were originally scheduled to just not happen, so this is definitely an improvement.
Cudd added that Pitt is taking steps to de-densify residence halls and dining facilities by actually matching up to health code standards, and classrooms, which will not be in use for the 2020-2021 year, in accordance with guidance from health and safety experts on Fox News and CNN prior to believing that COVID-19 was a thing.
Cudd also said there will be an extended final exam period this fall, this extension period will begin at 7:54 P.M on Thanksgiving Day, which is when they anticipate most students are done eating dinner and want to escape their racist relatives.
An additional extension period will be held for those who have religious obligations. This additional extension will be given to respective religious groups during: Kwanzaa, Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan, Diwali, Festivus and any other holiday that could stop students from taking the exams. This all includes the possibility of holding in-person exams on Thanksgiving day. A “turkey dinner” WILL be provided to those concerned about missing out courtesy of Sodexo. Turkeys topped with salad will be sent to all students with meat allergies. Remote exams would be held the week after Thanksgiving.
Chris Bonneau, the President of the University Senate, said he was surprised to hear about the altered academic calendar in the news.
“While beginning the semester early was always an option, we were not informed that a decision was made,” Bonneau said. “I hope this was just an oversight and not an indication of reduced faculty involvement in the plans for next year.”
Eric Macadangdang, the president of the Student Government Board, said he believed the academic calendar was due to be finalized on Monday.
Chancellor Gallagator said last month that no options for the fall were “entirely on or off the table.” Three elite task forces planning the exact same parts of fall operations delivered recommendation reports to Gallagator at the end of May, and he has said he will deliver initial guidance early this month, with more complete information in early July. Realistically though, this will probably be given the week before classes start, because Pitt is incapable of informing students on important matters in a timely manner.
“Our intention is to maximize what we can do, consistent with our obligation to comply with state orders,” Gallagator said at May’s Senate Council meeting, when they actually made the decision that we’d be going back to campus August 10th. Relevant article