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College of Charleston faculty are ready to usher students into the new academic year next week amid the backdrop of unprecedented times, CofC President Andrew T. Hsu told students and families during a virtual town hall meeting Thursday.

“This is both an exciting time as well as a time of anxiety because we are starting a most uncommon semester the likes of which none of us have experienced before in our lifetimes,” Hsu said, referencing the coronavirus pandemic.

Students will begin classes online on Aug. 25, 2020, with in-person classes scheduled to resume Sept. 14.

“We, the faculty and staff of the College of Charleston, are excited to get you back to campus,” Hsu said. “I want to let you know how proud I am of everyone. For those returning students, I’m so proud of all the work you did this past spring and summer to keep moving forward in your academic progress. For our new students, you have gone through a lot to join us. We are excited to welcome you and to have you become a part of our greater CofC community.”

To provide greater peace of mind to members of the campus community, the College has adopted new protocols for COVID-19 testing, which require all students who will be living in campus-operated residence halls or historic homes to submit a a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen COVID-19 test result (positive or negative) taken on or after Aug. 28 prior to moving in on campus. Move-in for students living in on-campus housing will be held Sept. 11–13.

RELATED: Learn more about CofC’s COVID-19 testing protocols.

“After we get everybody on campus, our plan is to then continue testing periodically random samples of the campus population throughout the rest of the semester,” said Bridget McLernon Sykes, director of Student Health Services. “This will give us an idea of how well we’re able to control the virus while everyone is here.”

Other details discussed during the virtual town hall include:

  • Home COVID-19 tests from national labs such as Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp that are PCR tests are acceptable to meet the Colleges COVID-19 testing protocols. For additional information on COVID-19 testing, contact Student Health Services at studenthealth.cofc.edu or 843.953.5520.
  • The College will make a final decision on Aug. 28 about whether to move forward with in-person classes on Sept. 14. If the College decides to continue for the rest of the semester in a virtual environment, refunds will be provided for housing and meal plans.
  • An addendum has been made to the College’s Student Code of Conduct limiting social gatherings off campus to 10 people or less. This applies to all student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, that may hold off-campus gatherings as well as any gatherings of students off of campus. Additionally, if any student organization is going to have an event off campus, the event must be registered with the College and adhere to the College’s policies and guidelines.