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Northern Michigan University students 'excited' to return to face-to-face learning, president says

Posted at 4:24 AM, Aug 11, 2020

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Starting next week, students at Northern Michigan University will be returning to the classroom for face- to-face learning.

"Students are very excited. I think they're ready to get out of their parents basement," said President Fritz Erickson. He says the staff is excited to welcome students back to the classroom for in-person learning.

"We're going to start by testing everybody, not just athletes, not just students in the dorm, not just faculty, not just staff," Erickson said. "Our goal was to test everybody and that started Monday,"

"When students come to campus, their first stop is at the testing station and if they exhibit any symptoms they'll immediately go into we've reserved an entire dorm for isolation and quarantine, Erickson told FOX 17.

The university had been planning all along to bring students back to campus for the fall semester and even kept campus open throughout the pandemic.

Erickson says parents were calling him at the beginning of the pandemic begging them to let the students stay on campus and that's what they did, allowing students to stay on campus this entire time.

The university says masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced and you can expect to see Plexiglass shields throughout campus.

"The safest place for college students is to be on a college campus because they stay contained and that's what we really set up to do that's why we're starting early we want students to come early and be done by Thanksgiving."

As for enrollment so far this year, Erickson says the university is only seeing a small decrease but Erickson believe there will be a lot of people waiting to sign up last minute. He says he also understands parents who choose to wait to have their college student sign up in the midst of the pandemic.

New for students this year, the university has set up an outdoor movie area near its football field for students to get out for a movie on the big screen while keeping social distance in mind.

The first day for students is August 17.