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Western Michigan University intended to welcome students back to campus Sept. 2, 2020 thanks to steps outlined in the Safe Return Plan.

Western Michigan University will return to "near-normal operations" for the fall 2020 semester, per an email from the Office of the President. WMU has tentatively set July 6 as their target date for an enhanced return to campus.

“At that time, we anticipate all departments, offices and services will return to full in-person operations,” the email read. “We have significant planning ahead to ensure a safe and smooth return to campus.”

About 75% of Western classes will be offered in-person, per the email. Most of those will be fully face-to-face with 6% offered in a hybrid format. Courses that were entirely in person will double those offered last fall. 

The acceleration in the distribution of vaccines, has offered a reason for hope and cautious optimism for the university. 

“We are confident we can responsibly come together in classrooms and offices in compliance with state guidelines this fall,” the email read. “We will do so in an environment made safer as a result of wider-spread vaccination and the benefit of a full year of learning to safely manage our community together.

The email also mentioned more than 90% of the campus consistently wears masks and wears them properly. Students are encouraged to get vaccinated when eligible, as well as to continue to mask and follow other protective measures, with the goal of reaching “herd immunity” in the campus community.

“Safeguarding the health and well-being of our campus community is always our top priority, and going beyond basic expectations is what sets Western apart,” the email read.

Additional details concerning the fall semester will be provided in the coming weeks and months.

“We know this past year has been difficult, requiring all of us to be flexible and adapt to a changing environment,” the email read. “We will use the strength and insights we have developed to carry us forward... We’re excited about the future we are creating together.”

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