Fairmont State begins modified classes for fall semester

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — After months of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairmont State University is welcoming students back to campus.

In a phased in return, students at FSU will officially begin classes virtually Monday after freshman, faculty and staff officially moved in last week with the help of mandatory testing and consulting with state and local health officials. While Fairmont State officials are not denying how difficult the process has been, they are fully ready to welcome students into the learning environment.

“While it’s been difficult and I’m not going to tell you it hasn’t because it’s been as you know very hard, it’s very rewarding,” said Farimont State President Dr. Mirta Martin on Metronews Talkline Monday. “To see our students come back home to Fairmont State and it’s certainly a priveledge to say, welcome home to Fairmont State,” she said.

According to Dr. Martin, there have been several adjustments made by FSU in order for the campus to be safe for students. Along with mandatory testing implemented for any student living on campus as well as out-of state students, faculty and staff, consultation with several health officials was also promeninent in the reopening plan. In turn, students who return to campus will see modifications on FSU’s campus in a way that has never been seen before.

“If you work and come on our campus, you will see a campus that has changed,” she said. “We have spent the last five months placing directional signs all over the campus, making sure that every single classroom is properly and social distanced, that our dining hall facilities are social distanced,” she said.

Class schedules will also see drastic modifications in order to safely teach students during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first week on campus, students will be taking classes virtually while preparing for modified in-person classes expected to take place August 24. The amount of classes taken in-person versus through virtual options will vary on if you’re a freshman, sophmore or an upper classmen with all classrooms adjusted for the new learning experience.

“We have in place in every single classroom computers and webcams, so that our faculty can deliver their classes synchonously to our students,” she said describing some of what’s been put in place.

While there will be several changes seen on campus and modified schedules as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols, Dr. Martin has expressed a common goal of someway, somehow trying to keep as much of campus life as normal as possible during a very unusual fall semester. Acknowledging a natural tendency for college students to socialize, Martin called upon students to follow safety guidelines set for them so that no steps back are taken and steps towards some level of normalcy can be maintained.

“Fairmont State University has acted and will continue to act with an abundance of caution to protect the safety and well being, of our faculty and staff and students,” she said.