by Kelly Nee | Managing Editor

SCRANTON – The University will pause in-person classes for a period of two weeks, beginning Sept. 16 and ending Sept. 30, University President Father Scott Pilarz, S.J., announced today.

All students are expected to attend their regularly scheduled in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Most classes will move to remote instruction on Wednesday.

A small number of labs will be permitted to continue in-person during the pause, at the direction of the appropriate deans. Weekly campus masses will be live-streamed for the next two weeks.

“Starting today, Friday, students living in University residence halls should remain on campus,” Father Pilarz said. “We will also prohibit visitation in all student residences.”

Students will not be permitted to gather in any residence except their own, he said.

Food service will continue in The DeNaples Center and other areas, although the dining services website has yet to be updated with current changes. Library operation hours have been limited in accordance with university guidelines.

All students living off campus are only permitted on campus for in-person classes or meals.

The university has prepared to close the Fitness Center and all indoor recreation spaces. Outdoor recreation will remain available.

“We encourage students to spend time outdoors, observing all safety guidelines, keeping any group to no more than 10 people,” Father Pilarz said.

Family Weekend, originally slated for the last weekend of September, has been pushed until the spring semester.

Regular testing will continue as planned for employees, while student testing will switch from random to a more targeted approach.

Students who decide to go home during the two-week pause will be asked to quarantine upon their return to campus.

Father Pilarz shared his well wishes for the University and the community.

“These measures, while disruptive, give us the best opportunity to conclude our semester together, a goal that I know we all share,” Father Pilarz said. “God bless you. May God bless Catholic and Jesuit education. And may God bless The University of Scranton.”

Hugh Doyle, assistant director of admissions, e-mailed university work study students to encourage keeping tours concise and wearing masks properly.

“Because of the safety measures we already have in place, hosting our information sessions outside, keeping tour groups small, and not stopping to speak within buildings on the tour, we will safely continue with tour operations throughout the pause of in-person academic instruction,” Doyle said.