UW-L ‘hoping and preparing’ for in-person fall semester

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow said Thursday that the school is “hoping and preparing” for a traditional fall semester after UW System President Tommy Thompson said he wants 75% of classes to be taught in-person.

Gow sent a letter to students and staff saying that while it feels like COVID-19 will never end, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“UW-La Crosse is hoping and preparing for a much more traditional fall semester, and we need your help to make that happen,” he said.

The university is preparing for up to 95% of undergraduate courses to be held in-person, bringing students back to the residence halls and dining options, a return to hosting live arts and entertainment and for students organizations to meet in person for sports, events and studying.

He continued saying:

“None of this is guaranteed. But here’s how you can help make it happen:
·         Continue following health and safety guidelines: mask, distance, wash your hands
·         Continue adhering to campus testing policies
·         Get vaccinated when you’re able and eligible.”

Gow closed his message by thanking everyone for their perseverance.

“I’m looking forward to a time, in the not-so-distant future, when we can come together and regain a sense of normalcy. It’s up to us to make those brighter days a reality. Thanks for all you’re doing!” he said.

Thompson wrote in a column released to the public Thursday that he’s directed system campuses to ensure students will have what he called “as classic a UW campus experience as possible.”

Thompson says the system’s aggressive testing protocols, social distancing and masks have kept COVID-19 infection rates low. He says the time has come to resume as much of an in-person campus experience as possible this fall.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.