BOSTON (CBS) – UMass Amherst has reversed course and will no longer allow on-campus housing for students who are taking classes remotely this fall. The university cited the worsening conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic nationally.

“Only students who are enrolled in essential face-to-face classes, including laboratory, studio and capstone courses, which have been designated in SPIRE, will be accommodated in campus residence halls and be granted access to campus facilities and dining this fall,” UMass Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said in a letter to the community Thursday. “All other students, whose courses do not require a physical presence on campus, should plan to engage in their studies remotely, from home.”

The school strongly urged off-campus students to refrain from returning to the area because they will not be able to use campus facilities.

International students and others who are dependent on housing and dining will be handled on a case by case basis.

Last week, UMass Amherst resident assistants and peer mentors called the school’s original reopening plans “suicidal” and demanded changes.

Chancellor Subbaswamy said the university is implementing wide-ranging viral testing protocols on campus this fall and adopting practices that go beyond federal and state recommendations.


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