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Harvard tells students not to come back after spring break; moves to online teaching due to coronavirus

Harvard President Larry Bacow announced this morning that Harvard is moving to online classes for the rest of spring semester to reduce the risks of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Students are asked not to return to campus after Spring Recess and to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice. Students who need to remain on campus will also receive instruction remotely and must prepare for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions. All graduate students will transition to remote work wherever possible.

Also, the school will soon ban all "non-essential" meetings of 25 or more people.

Bacow added:

The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly. The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and are also consistent with similar decisions made by a number of our peer institutions. The campus will remain open and operations will continue with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community.

Harvard joins Amherst College in switching to online classes because of Covid-19.

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Comments

Reading the news of Harvard this morning and Amherst College, there may be no student classes, but its safe to believe the campuses are open... meaning the buildings and its offices are open, and there are office staff and employees working. Meaning if you are a Harvard and Amherst worker, you still must come to work. Students are not banned on campus, you can go there for whatever reason, but don't be surprised if you are one of the very few there on the premises.

Just imagine the campus being on a very long spring break.

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Will those students actually paying for their ticket into the upper echelons of society get a discount? Half of what you get at a place like this is access to mates on a similar trajectory and contacts with those moving along the same path as you. Rip off!

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I am curious how this affects tuition... if you are pushing them out of the dorms and out of the fancy campus then do they get refunds for all that stuff? Seems to me like a huge portion of the draw of Harvard is being at Harvard. I can't imagine a high priced online Harvard college would last very long in the real world.

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My thoughts as well - with all these colleges telling students to stay away or go on line. You're paying a lot of money for a certain kind of education (on a tight timeline). Will students get discounts/refunds?

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But the greater value probably lies in the line on the CV which says "Harvard College, Cambridge MA"

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is something they're still entitled to, even if half of one semester ends up taking place online.

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As a professor at, I believe it was Stanford, said, "We give away the education. It's the piece of paper we charge for."

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They haven't made an announcement about a tuition discount or not. But I know the answer:

Ha ha.

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The decisions to cancel classes for the rich and elite will have a ripple effect on the Cambridge public schools which will soon be forced to close for political reasons. The elite and rich are able to quarantine in luxury while the students who are poor in the Cambridge public schools will suffer when the schools that provide them with breakfast, lunch and medical care are closed.

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If all your "stuff" is in a dorm in Harvard Square and you live in Topeka, when can you come back to get your things? I could also imagine kids having left most of their academic work (text books, notebooks etc) at school as well (although everything's probably mostly electronic at this point.)

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For your second question, they haven't gone on break yet so they can take what they need with them (assuming they are domestic students who can get home...).

I think the answer to the first question is "to be determined".

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What will happen to hourly workers like dining hall staff, cleaning people, and contracted security? It would be pretty hard for them to get laid off with little warning.

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how will this impact students who need to do lab work? i can't imagine anyone in a physical science track having much success in a remote capacity.

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Smart move.

Temporary disruptions are a small price to pay to flatten the outbreak curve.

Cities that did this in the 1918 flu pandemic had less deaths. Philly had 10k more deaths that St. Louis because one city took it seriously and one played a fiddle.

And really glad Walsh cancelled the St. Pat's parade. The point is to make sure people are around next year to enjoy it. And part of that is slowing the spread so what happened in Italy (which has more per capita hospital beds than we do) doesn't happen here where the system is on complete overwhelm.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/607675/

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It's a mess. They're kicking us out - we have to vacate the premises by Sunday 5pm. Nobody knows much beyond this.

As a Boston resident, it's not such a big deal for me, although it's still unclear what the process for loading cars (for people within driving distance) will look like. For international students, though, it's a nightmare - eg. Italy, which is locked down...

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although many have jobs that can easily be done remotely.

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Ugggggh.

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and are of an age for which the virus is a greater risk than for those under 20.

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The Ivy League has also cancelled its' conference basketball tournament. Yuck Fail...

The real question is where do all the dorm residing international students go, those at Harvard and elsewhere.. Fair to assume Trump won't let them back in the country should they leave ..

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Update here.

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