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University of Arizona begins phase 2 of plan to return to campus

University of Arizona Students
Posted at 6:45 AM, Feb 22, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — University of Arizona students, who have learned entirely from home over the past year, are getting a taste of normal campus life.

"I have some labs that are going in person," said University of Arizona student, Allison Barka.

The University of Arizona entered stage two of a four-phased "return to clasrooms" plan. Classes with 50 students or less can meet in-person as of Monday, February 22.

"We know that the learning outcomes will be so much better if they are in-person," said University of Arizona Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Liesl Folks.

Around 2,000 classes will begin meeting on campus, but new data is showing the potential effects of remote learning. Folks said 3% of students, enrolled in the Fall 2020 semester, did not return for the Spring 2021 semester.

"That 3% drop is hundreds and hundreds of students, at a university this size, that now are at risk," said Folks.

Alex Raben said he dropped out during the pandemic.

"I didn't do so well in the fall semester. I figured that maybe college isn't working out for me right now and maybe I'll go back after COVID," said Raben.

Folks said the university is doing their best to follow COVID-19 case numbers.

"What we're seeing right now is incredibly low community spread at the university," said Folks.

The university is not letting their guard down, just yet.

"We have to really hold strictly to the safety protocols that are in place already," said Folks.