The following letter was shared with the Union Community by President Serene Jones on Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Dear Union Students,
As we prepare for the end of the current Academic Year at Union, we are actively planning for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. We realize how difficult this year has been because of Union’s quick shift to remote learning in Spring 2020 and our continued remote teaching this year. We are extremely grateful for the many ways in which the whole community adapted to this change and successfully completed this, the 185th year of teaching and learning at Union. It is a huge accomplishment and applause is due to all!
We are hopeful that many things will be easier next year. We also realize that we learned a great deal this year and are working to incorporate what we have learned into our curriculum. We plan to resume all of our regular in-person activities on campus as the Fall Semester begins. We eagerly await welcoming both our returning students and new students to campus. In addition to in-person education, we will also continue offering some online options for those who absolutely cannot return to campus in the fall.
Here is a summary of Union’s plans:
- In the Fall, Union will officially reopen campus to in-person education and community life. All community activities such as Chapel, Community Lunch, Pub, study groups, and student gatherings will take place on campus.
- Union will require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated before entering campus. Within the next few weeks, you will receive information about how to provide your proof of vaccination or proof of medical/religious exemption.
- With respect to COVID-19 protocols, Union will continue to carefully observe all state and city mandated restrictions, including social distancing protocols, mask-wearing, and any other requirements that may arise. Union’s campus life policies will shift as protocols change over time.
- Union will offer approximately two-thirds of its courses in-person and one-third online. This division is in part due to the fact that most of our large required classes must be online because of space limitations presently imposed by social distancing requirements. Look out for a follow-up email from the Registrar with course delivery details and schedule. In rare instances, an in-person class may allow one or two online participants solely at the instructor’s discretion.
- Registration for courses will begin on June 14th for returning students. Please remember to consult with your advisor. We want to make sure all your requirements are being met and that you are fully aware of all your options.
- Students who are “in-residence,” meaning they are registering for in-person courses, can register for both in-person and online classes.
- Both the newly renovated Hastings Residence Hall and McGiffert Residence Hall are open and ready for student occupancy! The Housing Office is currently taking applications from students presently in campus housing who want to extend their occupancy. The deadline for those applications is June 14th. After this deadline, we will begin assigning residences to incoming students.
- Should there be further complications related to COVID-19, Union will once again take all necessary steps to create a healthy campus for the Union community and for our surrounding community and neighborhood. Should this happen, Union will not be forced to alter students’ residential locations because vaccinations will make residential life safe and stable. For students who are exempted, an outbreak may require an alteration of living circumstances.
I hope you enjoy reviewing the course catalog and deciding which of our many amazing courses you are going to enroll in during the 2021-2022 year. It is quite an array! For those of you who are newly enrolling, welcome to Union. For those of you who started your Union degree last year, we are eager to meet you in person. For those of you who were already here in 2019-20 but not able to return this year, we have missed you and are excited to welcome you back. For those of you who are graduating, we say congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! You made it! And we look forward to celebrating you this coming Friday, May 21st!
Cheers to all,
President Serene Jones