LSU moving to online classes amid spread of coronavirus

Some LSU students concerned after university announces move to online classes

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU has made the decision to move to online classes due to the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.

“After a lot of conversation and after a lot of discussion, we decided that the safest and best thing for us to do was to go to a predominantly online course environment as of March 30,” said LSU Interim President Tom Galligan.

The school made the announcement in a tweet Thursday, March 12.

SCHOOLS: List of changes to school, university schedules due to coronavirus

LSU Res Life says all residence halls and on-campus apartments will remain open at this time, along with university facilities as well.

“We’re encouraging students to go home if they can, but if they can’t go home for whatever reason, they’re international students, they may be from an area that’s not as safe as we are right now, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to have dining halls open for them and we’ll have the residence halls open for them,” said Galligan.

Some students say they're worried about getting behind.

"I believe it's going to be a difficult transition. As a science major, I have a lot of labs going on and those are practical classes that are more hands on," said Alaina Perry, a sophomore at LSU.

LSU was the first major university to make the decision to move to online classes.

Students are having mixed reactions.

“With everybody else canceling, you know, like the NBA just canceled, all that stuff, so I think it’s the right move, but a lot of my teachers, they don’t have anything set up right now, so we’ll see,” said Ian Dantoni, an LSU sophomore.

“I do know it [coronavirus] is infecting a lot of people and there is a reason to be scared, but I don’t see the whole need. It could get better or it could get worse. It’s better to err on the side of caution,” said Perry.

Galligan says the two weeks off will give professors enough time to move their courses fully online.

LSU Interim President Tom Galligan released the following statement:

To the LSU community,

Last night, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a statewide public health emergency, which sets into motion a number of precautionary steps being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In light of this development, we are moving our classes online beginning Monday, March 30, through the rest of the Spring semester. Moving in-person courses to online will allow us to help slow the spread of the virus and protect all of us, as well as our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues, from exposure to the illness.

Classes at all LSU campuses, with the exception of LSU Health Science Centers in Shreveport and New Orleans, will be canceled the week of March 16 to allow faculty to finalize the online availability of course materials and for us to develop solutions to unique situations that will no doubt arise. Since spring break is the week of March 23, that means there will be no classes for the two-week period beginning March 16.

The university will remain open and operational during this time period, however, and staff members should continue to work normal schedules.

Faculty members are encouraged to continue their research and scholarly activities remotely when possible, and we’ll be in touch with further guidance.

Students living on campus are encouraged to return home if you can do so. We understand this isn’t possible for everyone, so our residential life housing will remain open and most services will be available, although in some cases we may temporarily relocate some residents to help with social distancing.

We are also prohibiting all international travel and limiting domestic business travel to that which is essential to the fundamental academic and research functions at LSU. We’re also taking the additional step of asking that all faculty, staff and students disclose your travel plans, whether business or personal. It’s important for us to understand the risks of infection brought about by travel to certain areas – particularly with spring break on the horizon.

I recognize these actions may be a burden to some, which I assure you we considered when making these decisions. But it’s the right thing to do, and I believe it gives us our best chances at keeping our LSU community as healthy as possible.

Look for an announcement about campus events soon, as we are considering all the factors involved in either canceling, postponing, or conducting them virtually.

This is a complex and evolving situation, and we appreciate your patience as we work through all the details. As always, for accurate and timely updates from an official source please visit lsu.edu/coronavirus or one of LSU’s social media sites.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and your full cooperation. You are a fantastic group of resilient, compassionate and dedicated people. I have confidence in you.

Tom Galligan

LSU Interim President

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.