Walkway (image source: Taylor Posik)

Following winter break, SNHU’s ‘22 spring semester is going to kick off with two weeks of remote learning campus-wide. Students return to classes on January 3. Remote learning is scheduled to end on January 14.

“When looking at previous national and state patterns, the first two weeks of January have been a time of sharp increases in community spread. Additionally, we know that our students and employees will likely be at increased risk over the holiday break due to gatherings and travel,” said Executive Vice President Don Brezinski.

When the shortened winter break was first announced, there were concerns over not having the proper amount of time to quarantine after the holidays. Beginning the semester with remote learning will allow staff and students to quarantine according to the CDC recommended time frame.

“New and returning resident students will move into their campus housing on Monday, Jan. 17. There will be no classes and most University offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In-person classes on campus will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 18,” said Brezinski.

There are concerns among students who have already made travel plans for the return to campus, including Lauryn Hall (’22). “How would this work with people who have flights? Like, I’m from Arizona, planning to go home during break and [I] can’t really change my flights to stay longer,” said Hall.

While the plan is meant to last for two weeks, this brings up the possibility for remote learning to be extended. With cases of the Delta variant and Omicron variant on the rise, it increases the chances of campus being shut down to slow the spread. 

This decision also affects housing. Most students will begin classes at home, however, some will be allowed to move in for emergency housing.

“SNHU will allow a small number of students to return to campus as early as Sunday, Jan. 2. We will prioritize those who are faced with unsafe housing or students who are unable to learn effectively in a remote environment due to unreliable access to the internet and technology, family and personal obligations, and other hardships, as well as students who are required to be in person for various experiences such as athletics or labs,” said Brezinski.

Students who fit the criteria may fill out the “Two-Week Remote Housing” application on MyHousingDirector by December 15.