Welcome Week and Important Information: The Lowdown on Spring 2021


Photographs courtesy of www.uis.edu

As part of the new semester, UIS is hosting various events and changes that impact students and faculty on campus. Here are some of the primary updates, reminders, and happenings regarding Spring 2021.

Welcome Week began on Jan. 14, and events will continue through Feb. 3. See the image attached to this article for specific dates, times, and locations.

Students who have not yet returned to campus are urged to arrive as soon as possible and get tested at the Public Affairs Center (PAC) testing site immediately upon arrival. Weekly COVID-19 testing and public safety protocols (masks, social distancing, et cetera) will continue to be mandatory through the rest of the semester, even for those who get vaccinated. Information on UIS COVID-19 testing can be found here.

Classes will be remotely delivered until February 1. Once in-person classes resume, mask-wearing and social distancing are expected when feasible.

Soon-to-be graduates must submit their Spring 2021 graduation applications by February 19. The official commencement date for Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 graduates is May 15, 2021. It is unclear whether or not commencement will occur in-person, although the information seems to suggest that it is possible. Final decisions will be made available here.

            This semester, students will not have a Spring Break. Instead, three “non-instructional days” and two “reading days” will be scattered throughout the coming weeks. No virtual or in-person classes can be held, nor can any tests or assignments be due, on the non-instructional days of Mar. 2, Mar. 3, and Apr. 26. Major assignments such as tests, papers and final projects cannot have their deadlines fall on the reading days of May 6 and 7.

According to the university, “[t]hese plans seek to prioritize the health and safety of the campus and surrounding communities to the greatest extent possible, by limiting opportunities for off-campus travel while providing non-instructional days that correspond [to] peak periods of stress during the semester.”

As for the COVID-19 vaccine, the UIS campus has a limited supply of Moderna vaccine doses on site that will continue to be made available to those who qualify and express interest in receiving it. According to Interim Chancellor Whitney, those eligible to receive the vaccine at the current phase of distribution will be “referred to Public Health…based on SCDPH directions and available supply.”

Any additional COVID-19 related health, wellness, and safety guidelines not covered by this article can be accessed here and here.