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Florida Gulf Coast University Kicks off Fall Semester

FGCU Students on the first day of the fall semester.
James Greco
FGCU Students on the first day of the fall semester. All students, faculty, and staff are required to wear masks at all times while on campus.

When the novel coronavirus began to spread across the U.S. earlier this year and everything shut down in mid-March that, of course, included almost all on-campus operations at Florida Gulf Coast University. The spring semester ended with basically universal virtual instruction, and that continued through the summer. Since the shutdown university staff has been working to come up with a plan to resume on campus classes, and life, and that’s culminating today with the beginning of the fall semester.

About 15,000 students are enrolled to start classes — about the same as last year. Dorms will be about 85% full. Classes will include a mixture of in-person and virtual models. The university has embarked on an extensive, campus-wide education campaign to “Protect the Nest.” That includes both symptomaticand asymptomatic testing options, and an app that students, faculty and staff are asked to check in on daily to report their health status. All students, faculty, and staff are required to wear masks at all times while on campus.

We’re joined by FGCU President, Dr. Mike Martin, to explore how classes and dorm life are going to work, and the plans that are in place to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff as the process of higher education resumes during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a related note the ASUN Conference has announced the postponement of the fall sport competition schedule. This will affect FGCU's cross country, men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball programs.

This announcement does not affect the start of the winter sports, including the men's and women's basketball seasons, which remain scheduled to start in November.

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