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FGCU working on plan for schooling amid coronavirus pandemic

Universities don’t have much time to get their plans in order for the fall, so what is Florida Gulf Coast University considering?

There’s no telling what the campus will look like in the fall, but one thing though is for sure, “We’ve prepared for about 4 or 5 different scenarios, all of which start with the notion that we’ll get students back on campus,” said the university’s president, Mike Martin.

Getting kids back is the goal and, like Martin, professors want to see their kids face-to-face.

“College students need the interactions for developing their personalities as a young adult,” said FGCU professor, Dr. Elizabeth Elliot, and these days, do that safely.

FGCU’s scenarios must become a plan to present to the Board of Governors in three weeks.

“Everyone whose names went from A-L, for example, would come to class and everyone who went from M-Z would watch on the screen. And the next week they’d switch positions,” Martin said. “That’s just one of many ways we may do it. We may have to add sections and therefore extend the class week.”

The University announced this week that they are cutting employee hours right now through August, and members of the teacher’s union say they’re not being included in the conversation.

“My request to the university is the same as a lot of the rest of the faculty is involve us. Involve us in planning,” said FGCU professor of special education, Dr. Carolynne Gischel.

I think everyone’s been well represented,” Martin said. “We will share drafts with UFF. They are certainly welcome to offer their opinions.”

Still, everyone shares the same goal: get kids right back to where they belong, soon and safely.

Martin says he’s not too concerned about enrollment in the fall. They’ve hit their target enrollment for freshman already and, right now, classes will start as scheduled on Monday, Aug. 17.

Many other universities are pushing the start of the semester to September.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Briana Harvath
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