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MSU officials partly reopening dorms for spring semester

Michigan State University will partially reopen its dorms for students for the spring 2021 semester, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.  announced Thursday in a letter to students.

"The fall has shown us that our systems and protocols set up for on-campus housing have proven effective and successful, and we are confident we can return more students to our residence hall," said Stanley in the letter. "Many Spartans continue to express a desire to live on campus."

Michigan State University will partially reopen dormitories for the spring semester.

The university will make available 2,500 additional single-occupancy residence hall spaces.

MSU's residential and hospitality services departments have developed a request process that will be offered soon, with a priority for students who need additional assistance and students who have an in-person or hybrid class as well as first-year students, said Stanley.

 All students living on campus now will remain in their current rooms, added Stanley.  Most classes will still be taught online.

Michigan State University is also planning to increase in-person classes and will skip spring break.

Stanley said the school will offer 400 in-person classes for the spring semester, up from 40 in the fall, to accommodate classes that have to be taught in person. The school will open 2,500 single occupancy residence hall spaces

"We will prioritize offering classes that can only be taught in person in order to keep our students on track for an on-time graduation," he said. "To protect the health and wellness of the community, most classes still will be offered only as online courses." 

Spring semester for undergraduate students is scheduled to start Jan. 11. Not all 27 residence halls at MSU will reopen for the spring 2021 semester, a university spokesman said.

Fall enrollment at MSU is 49,695. MSU is expected to offer about offer 400 in-person course options. 

Students will soon receive information about housing opportunities and course offerings as well as required participation in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program, also known as the Spartan Spit Test, which could lead to testing for the virus depending on the outcome of the saliva test.

"This year has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and I’m proud of the hard work our faculty, staff and students have put in to make the best of a Spartan education during this pandemic," Stanley said. "Our faculty and staff have been working diligently to keep our campus safe and continue the world-class education we are trusted to deliver. I appreciate that thousands of MSU students are taking action every day to reduce the spread of COVID-19."

MSU has reported the highest number of cumulative COVID-19 cases on Michigan college campuses, with 1,622 as of Monday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Associated Press contributed