Tulane, Xavier and Loyola universities prepare for upcoming school year

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Tulane University students moving into residence halls will first have to make a stop at the Hyatt Hotel.

"They'll probably stay there overnight, maybe two nights, and be tested, and wait their test, and only when their tests have come back negative can they come to campus," Tulane President Michael Fitts said.

Fitts says they reserved the entire hotel for student housing, as well as for orientation.

"This is a way to ensure that we're not going to be inundated with a crowded move in. The timing of move in has been extended for many more days, so we're only moving in a small percentage of the class," Fitts said.

In terms of fraternity and sorority houses, Fitts says they are already de-concentrated, and gatherings will be monitored.

"Not a lot of students actually live in the fraternity and sorority houses. There may be four or five, but it's not a situation where...sort of, animal house," Fitts said.

Crews are also working on outdoor structures the university will use to offer more space so students can learn and dine on campus, while socially distanced.

"We built 13 new classrooms and five new sort of other facilities so that everybody takes a class or eats in a facility sort of more than twice the size of what's needed," Fitts said.

Signs around campus remind everyone to mask up; Xavier University says it will also be a mask-only campus, and enforce various safety measures.

"We've already gone through now and began blocking off seats, so that each classroom will only hold probably 25 to 30% of what they normally hold, we're putting directional arrows on campus," Curtis Wright, Xavier University Vice President of Student Affairs said.

Many local universities are offering a variety of ways for students to take their courses.

"Our faculty have rolled their sleeves up and been trained on doing this online learning since last spring, so all our faculty are teaching extra courses online, such that if a student wants to take all their courses remotely, they can do that as well," Wright said.

"We have hybrid classes that are taught in the classroom, but with video technology that if you want to be at home in Iowa taking that class, you can do that," Loyola University President Tania Tetlow said.

Fitts expects 75 percent of classes to be in person.

“This is a challenging time for everybody, but we’re very excited about having everyone back on campus,” Fitts said.

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