Texas Southern Cancels In-Person Classes, Commencement Due to Coronavirus

By Terrance Turner

This afternoon, I received an email from Interim TSU President Kenneth Huewitt. The email reads, in part: “Although there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, this fact does not stop us from taking action now. Texas Southern University is announcing the following decisions:

• In an effort to minimize contact that could spread the COVID-19 virus on our campus, we are extending online instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. No decision has been made yet regarding the summer semesters.

• We are mandating that all residential students now away for Spring Break not return to campus. Given the State’s executive order pertaining to gathering places, recreation centers, eateries, entertainment, etc., it has become evident that this is the best action to take to enhance the safety of our students. Students should check their student email for detailed instructions from Residence Life & Housing regarding how to go about the collection of your belongings from your room.

• Students who are now staying on campus should begin making arrangements with their families/guardians to move out of the residence halls by no later than Saturday, March 28, and return home for the remainder of the semester. Students who are facing special circumstances can put in a request to Residence Life & Housing to have their situations evaluated. These requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

• We are cancelling the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony. All Spring graduates will be allowed to walk at a future Commencement ceremony, and we will provide additional details at a later date.”

The email went on to state that refunds will be addressed in future communications. It also emphasized that essential services at Texas Southern will continue to operate: “TSU is NOT closing,” Huewitt said. He added that the TSU Library and Learning Center will remain open for those who need access to computers and WiFi. The university will also provide free food trucks.

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