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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Upcoming fall semester marks return to in-person instruction

Professors+reflect+-+student+studying
Photo by Aiden Shertzer
Professors reflect – student studying

After two and a half semesters of mostly virtual learning, Texas A&M announced the fall 2021 semester will be delivered in person.
The announcement comes from a March 22 email from interim Provost Mark Weichold in which he notes the efforts A&M has made this semester, such as the COVID-19 random testing program, contact tracing and decreasing campus positive cases, have been successful. Weichold also mentioned the progress of the state of vaccine availability for students and those around the state.
The 2021 fall semester will mark the first traditional semester for the Class of 2024 due to classes being offered virtually with some in-person options for select classes.
Recreation, parks and tourism sciences freshman Avery Varvel said coming into college virtually has been an adjustment. Varvel said she is looking forward to attending more classes on campus and meeting more people in classrooms.
“I am definitely not too worried about it but right as I walk into class it can be nerve-wracking because it will feel like I am a freshman even though I am not [be]cause I have never experienced it,” Varvel said. “As much as I like doing school in my pajamas, I am excited to have in-person classes and get to meet more people in my major.”
Varvel said she is most looking forward to her a cappella group, the Femmatas getting to perform in-person.
“We are going to be able to start doinggigs again, that will be some of my first times performing with them in a normal year,” Varvel said. “Apparently we normally have a couple of weeks, so that will be crazy to be able to perform in-person.”
Speaker of the Faculty Senate John Stallone said the only concern the Senate has is in regard to professors who are more susceptible to being infected with COVID-19. Stallone said the leadership team has expressed its concern to university administration.
“We have asked the administration to take this under advisement and consider those people who provide a reasonable health-based request to allow them to have an alternative teaching assignment, presumably online as opposed to in-person, so they are not at risk,” Stallone said.
After having to learn how to teach online so quickly, Stallone said he believes the transition back to the typical way of teaching should be smoother than the switch to online.
“Now going back to normal teaching should be an easier, more welcomed thing by most faculty,” Stallone said. “I think it is a good thing as long as we are not experiencing another spike in COVID[-19] by the time the fall semester starts.”
Weichold said the university will continue to monitor situations through the summer and will address the campus community if any changes need to be made.
“Please know that your health and well-being are important to us as we make this transition. While the fall semester is five months away, we will be monitoring conditions carefully,” Weichold said in his March 22 email. “If changes are needed, we are prepared to adjust appropriately. We will continue to inform you as close to real-time as possible so that you are aware of the direction the university is taking.”

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