UTSA administrators release more information about Fall 2020 reopening

"Mainly online" classes, housing regulations and no reductions in tuition and fees are among details shared with the UTSA community about campus reopening.

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Ethan Gullett

UTSA's Multidisciplinary Building. Administrators sent a university-wide email with information about campus reopening procedures for this fall.

Breahna Luera, News Editor

UTSA administrators President Taylor Eighmy, Provost and Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Kimberly Espy and Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Veronica Mendez sent a university-wide email on July 7 with more details about how campus will reopen this fall. 

The email emphasizes the accessibility and flexibility of classes and resources online in light of the “unstable” nature of COVID-19 in San Antonio. 

All students, faculty and staff who decide to return to campus this fall will be required to complete a mandatory compliance training before their return.

According to the email, classes will be “mostly online” and “select courses will take place face-to-face based on the need for specialized course material or facilities.” Students who wish to take all online classes this fall will be able to do so. Finalized schedules for classes and their modalities will be announced on July 31. After Thanksgiving, all instruction will be exclusively online.

The email also included information about student housing and common areas on campus that will be open. 

Students who signed a contract with UTSA to live in Alvarez Hall, Chaparral Village or Laurel Village will be able to make changes to their contract with no cancellation fee until Aug. 3 should they decide to not return to campus in the fall.

Students who will return to on-campus housing in the fall will be grouped into “family units” and interactions with students outside of those units will be limited. 

Campus food courts and the Roadrunner Cafe will be open as well as campus common areas like the Sombrilla and the John Peace Library. Face masks and practicing social distancing will be required throughout campus, including these common areas. Face coverings will be provided to all students, faculty and staff. 

On-campus research that resumed on June 1 will continue into the fall, undergraduates supported by federal funded projects may participate in research activities this fall and on-campus laboratories will be open. All other research activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is optional for graduate students to return to campus.

The Fall 2020 tuition and fees cost will not change for the students, though. The email stated that the cost of attendance will remain as published, but “Some mandatory fees may be adjusted pending final decisions regarding campus services.”

In response to this week’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security stating that international students who are on F-1 visas must leave the United States if they are not enrolled in face-to-face classes at their university this fall, the email stated that UTSA is “working with international students to certify their eligibility to continue their studies at USTA.”

Mandatory fees that are subject to change and/or are being reviewed by Campus Services are transportation services, the Recreation Center and Student Union operations. Parking fees and the reopening of the Child Development Center are also under review. Decisions regarding these campus services will be announced on July 28. 

More information about campus reopening can be found on the Roadrunner Return webpage, and more information about procedures and safety planning can be found in the Public Health Task Force Strategic Plan.

Student town halls will be conducted virtually on July 14 and 15 to further discuss campus reopening.