Stevens Students to Return to Hoboken This Fall, With Some New Regulations

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In early March, the coronavirus forced Hoboken’s Stevens Institute of Technology to put classes online, and with the coronavirus still a very present issue and the fall semester quickly approaching, the college announced on Monday that only a handful of students can come to campus for the fall semester, with the rest attending classes virtually {again}. The only students allowed on campus will be first-year students, new transfer students, new graduate students, and returning students who work on campus {e.g. resident assistants, teaching assistants, and Ph.D. students}.

When the decision was announced, Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens Institute of Technology, said in an email to Stevens students and staff, “This decision was, without a doubt, among the most difficult and consequential that I and many members of our leadership team have made in our entire careers.”

To achieve social distancing and keep students as safe as possible, Stevens is requiring face masks, providing an abundance of hand sanitizer, and installing floor markers to regulate foot traffic, among many other health plans. Campus life and in-person instruction have been completely reimagined to meet social distancing guidelines. Read on to learn how Stevens is preparing for the fall semester and the situation is for students and staff.

Stevens Hall

Spring response

On March 17th, days before the first case of COVID-19 in Hoboken, Stevens announced that, in response to C.D.C. guidance, all courses and labs will be held online. The following day, all students had to move out of campus housing and go home. Since then, the college’s campus has been closed to the public.

However, college administrators anticipated more students returning to campus in the fall. Up until August, students anticipated returning to campus. Then on July 13th, the university announced “a phased approach” to hold 50% of its normal capacity.

Here are some of the notes from the Office of the President:

Social Distancing

Five days before returning to campus, Stevens requires every person to be tested with a COVID-19 PCR test and self-quarantine until their results are back.  Accord to the college’s reopening plan submitted to the State of New Jersey in early July, social distancing will happen at all times. Signs and regular safety reminders will be posted around campus. Stevens will be sanitizing everything from three to four times per day. Large buildings, such as the library and athletics facility, will open in incremental phases but may close depend on public health conditions.

Read more: Latest Jersey City + Hoboken COVID-19 Updates

Instruction

Nearly all courses and labs will be online. Although some students have the option to attend in person, anyone has the option to attend in-person or participate in live stream instruction from home. In-person classes will be socially distanced, and students will need to wear masks. If too many cases of COVID-19 become apparent throughout the semester, Stevens vowed to put all classes online again.

Residential Housing

Only first-year and transfer students can live in dorms, but with slight modifications. The college has converted the dorms to handle social distancing. Before moving into the dorms, each student must be tested for COVID-19. Face masks will be required in the hallways, and trips to the communal bathroom and showers will be scheduled. Stevens may require a temperature check before entering the dorms. Students can still order food delivery from local restaurants, but they cannot have guests.

Returning undergraduate students can no longer live in any form of Stevens housing for the Fall 2020 semester, including Stevens Leased Housing, Stevens-owned fraternity and sorority houses, the Lore-El Center for Women’s Leadership, and the C.A.R.E. House.

If a student contracts the virus while living in the dorms, that student will either self-isolate or be moved to one of 15 rooms set aside by Stevens meant specifically for infected students.

If you are a student experiencing housing insecurity because of the coronavirus or new college policies, you’re encouraged to email Sara Klein {sklein@stevens.edu}.

Athletics

Athletes will not be allowed to compete in competitions in the fall 2020 semester, according to a July 24th press release. The Middle Atlantic Conference said that they are looking at alternative approaches for the future, including moving all fall sports to the spring and scheduling sports in winter.

Transportation

Once the fall semester begins, the college will restart its shuttle service, which transports students and staff to and from the Hoboken Terminal, the 9th Street Light Rail Station, and Stevens-leased housing throughout Hoboken. The 14-person shuttles will be limited to six people and a seating chart will be posted on the door of the shuttle. Each rider must wear a face mask. Stevens may increase the number of total shuttles to account for the fewer riders in each vehicle.

On-Campus Dining

Although Stevens cannot yet allow in-person dining, students can pre-order all meals for either pickup or delivery. When the State of New Jersey allows in-person dining, the college will offer socially-distanced seating in their on-campus dining facilities. The college has also vowed to eliminate self-service dining, that face masks and social distancing will be required, and that temperature monitoring may be required at the entrance of dining facilities.

See more: Daily Coronavirus Tracker for Hoboken + Jersey City

Tuition Costs

For the fall semester, Stevens has kept the cost of tuition at $55,952, an increase of $1,938 from last semester’s tuition costs. Across New Jersey, universities have announced cuts to tuition costs as the coronavirus makes it more difficult for families to pay for college. On July 13, The College of New Jersey said it would reduce costs to help families struggling financially due to COVID-19. Over the summer, Thomas Edison State University cut its cost per credit by $145 for in-state residents and $35 for out-of-state students.


 


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Matthew Cunningham covers local stories on LGBTQ life, city council, local business, inequality, and science. Born in Arkansas, Matthew is a student at Stevens Institute of Technology and a proud gay Hoboken resident. When he isn't dashing to a zoning board meeting or interviewing lawmakers, he enjoys exploring restaurants on Washington Street, scootering on Frank Sinatra Drive, and getting a taste of the big city life.