Surge in COVID cases postpones in-person learning for TSU, Vanderbilt and Belmont

Belmont Pic.jpg
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 19:20:31-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The start of the Spring college semester will not start on schedule for three Nashville universities.

They are already reacting to the COVID cases and now pushing back the start of the year.

College students across the country have learn to adapt to social changes because of the pandemic.

In 2020, students like many others had to learn from home and online.

"We had that kind of delayed thing, and we had the hybrid learning my first year where we had the opportunity to do online or in person, but we had a little bit more notice last year," said Miranda Grustas, a Belmont student.

Belmont University alerted students and staff last week in an email about the changes for the semester.

With the surge in Omicron across the country, flight disruptions and our return to campus so close to New Year’s Day, classes this semester will begin fully online on Wednesday, January 5 and Residence Halls will remain closed until Saturday, January 15. We will resume fully in-person classes on Tuesday, January 18

We recognize this change in schedule will create additional questions, and we will be in touch as soon as possible with more information. Faculty will be in touch with you soon with details on how your classes will meet online between January 5 and January 18. Additionally, the University will be providing room and board refunds for residential students through January 15 based on this schedule change. Stay tuned for more information on move-in and safe return to campus protocols.

Please continue to stay diligent in your COVID-19 safety measures—wear a mask, stay home if you feel sick and get your COVID-19 vaccine—or if you have already been vaccinated and are eligible, get your booster.

We appreciate your continued commitment to keeping our entire campus community safe.

Belmont University

"I'm assuming the break was so that we could get back to normal faster rather than having everybody quarantine on campus like the second they got back, and all the germs mingled," Grustas.

Grustas said the news caught her off guard.

"I was shocked. I was very, I was very surprised. Because I just booked my flight the day before."

It's not just Belmont making semester changes because of COVID.

Tennessee State University announced that classes for the spring semester will be delayed for one week and will begin on Monday, January 24, 2022, due to the COVID-19 omicron variant. TSU will open as planned on January 3 for administrators and staff.

Vanderbilt University undergraduates will delay start of the semester until January 17, which is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Vanderbilt will also be expanding its testing program for the spring. This will include required testing for all returning students before they arrive on campus.