Virus threat prompts Amherst College to move to remote learning after spring break

  • Students enter Johnson Chapel on the Amherst College quad to hear former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speak on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

Published: 3/9/2020 9:13:06 PM

AMHERST — Amherst College announced Monday that it would move to remote learning after the spring break, starting March 23, because of the threat posed by the new coronavirus.

“We know that many people will travel widely during spring break,” President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin said in a message posted to the college website. “The risk of having hundreds of people return from their travels to the campus is too great.”

Martin said classes would be canceled Thursday and Friday this week so that faculty and staff can work on other ways of delivering courses, and students can secure transportation.

All students are expected to have left campus by March 16, Martin said, other than those who have petitioned successfully to remain. Students who are unable to find somewhere to stay away from campus have until the end of Wednesday to submit a petition.

Students are encouraged to take as many of their belongings as possible with them when they leave. Martin said the campus would remain open during the break and afterward, and that faculty and staff are expected to do their work as usual.

“It saddens us to be taking these measures,” Martin wrote. “We know these decisions pose significant challenges and wish they were not necessary.”

Amherst College is a private college with an enrollment of 1,855, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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