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Fall semester starts at the University of Tampa, students return to campus

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Posted at 7:06 AM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 08:00:33-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — The fall semester for the University of Tampa starts on August 30.

“We are so excited for our students to be making the transition back to a full face-to-face experience,” said Stephanie Russell Krebs, Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Tampa.

When students return, UT will not be doing emergency remote teaching anymore.

"In the spring we had a hybrid approach where students were surely back on campus but some of their course offerings were virtual. This fall we are fully face-to-face in the classroom bringing students back to the UT experience," said Russell Krebs.

Since students will now be back on campus, UT events are starting again, and health experts say there’s a big concern for COVID-19 spread among college-aged students, the university is going back to mandatory mask requirements in indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

“Our goal is to monitor this regularly and if transmission rates change in Hillsborough County and on our campus we will revisit but at this point, we believe masking in indoor spaces is an important mitigation strategy for where we are right now," said Russell Krebs.

Some other things UT is doing to limit virus spread include:

  • Still partnering with a professional contact tracing team
  • Offering free testing on campus
  • Still providing temperature check kiosks and encouraging daily symptom screenings
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas

“We are as a university are strongly encouraging the vaccine. I would love to message our students and say if you are medically able to receive a vaccine, that we would encourage you to do so. We’re offering opportunities to make it easier for students to receive a vaccine back on campus. We’re partnering with a local Walmart to do some vaccination clinics,” said Russell Krebs.

“Would encourage students to wear their masks, to be very careful of the spaces that they’re in. We really want to make all decisions to preserve this face-to-face experience for students and the more that we can do that together the better off we’ll be,” she added.

For students living on campus, there are some changes and safety precautions in place. UT is once again setting aside space for anyone in a dorm who might need to quarantine.

“There’s one important change that our students are excited about. Last year we had a moratorium on residential visitors and we have lifted that moratorium so what that means now is students are able to have guests in their residence hall rooms. So if they want to have someone come over to watch a movie or for a study group they’re able to do that,” said Russell Krebs.