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USM Advises Colleges To Keep Students Off Campus After Break; Schools Cancel Classes

March 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

University System of Maryland institutions are being asked to keep students off campus for at least two weeks after spring break.

Spring break is next week for USM institutions. However, rather than stay on break, Chancellor Jay A. Perman said in a statement universities should be prepared to hold classes online.

"Given this guidance, I understand that USM presidents may need to cancel classes one or more days this week so that students, faculty, and staff can plan for this change in schedule post-spring break," Perman said. "Preparation for campus departures and online instruction will vary among universities, and each USM president therefore has discretion to ensure that faculty and staff have adequate time to set these plans in motion."

At Towson University, classes are canceled Wednesday through Friday. On Tuesday, Towson suspended all nonessential out-of-state university travel for all students, faculty and staff, except travel as part of the athletic program. All faculty, staff and students who are abroad have been recalled. All university-sponsored events and gatherings are canceled through March 22.

"This continues to be a fluid and rapidly evolving situation," university spokesman Sean Welsh said. "The university may take alternative action as appropriate."

The University of Maryland, College Park is telling students to leave for spring break at the end of the week and plan not to return to campus until at least April 10. Starting March 30 and continuing at least until students' return, classes will be conducted online.

Salisbury University officials announced Thursday and Friday classes would be canceled. As at Towson, students are being urged to take essential belongings home with them.

Morgan State University, which isn't a member of the USM, will also cancel in-class instruction for at least two weeks after spring break.

The University of Maryland has not yet canceled classes but has barred university-related out-of-state travel. Students and faculty have been told to prepare for online coursework.

All campuses will stay open before, during and after spring break, even if students are not in classrooms. However, students are being asked to take home all essential belongings, medications and materials in case it becomes necessary to restrict access to campus.

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