Start of Winter Quarter Delayed by Week, Classes Go Online First Two Weeks

Students in on-campus housing will be allowed to move back into the dorms on January 20.

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Adyant Kanakamedala

The south face of Harper Library.

By Nikhil Jaiswal, News Editor

The start of winter quarter has been delayed by a week to January 10, and the first two weeks of the quarter will be taught online to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant. The announcement was made on Thursday in an email sent to the University community by University Provost Ka Yee Lee. 

In a follow-up email from Housing and Residential Life, students living on campus will only be allowed to move back into University housing starting 8 a.m. on Thursday, January 20. However those facing “extreme circumstances” can apply to move back on campus prior to the 20. 

The University will now also require students to submit proof they received a booster shot by January 24. Previously, students were required to submit proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot by January 31.

To accommodate the delay, spring break and spring quarter are also being pushed back by a week, according to the email from the provost. The academic year will now end on June 4. Graduation for the college is still expected to occur on June 4, 2022.

“Although we are taking these temporary measures as a precaution, the University greatly values in-person instruction, and we are committed to returning to it as soon as conditions allow. We want to acknowledge that there will still be high numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 among our students and employees once we resume in person on January 24, and ongoing interventions and adaptations may be required,” Provost Lee wrote. 

"Undergraduate Student Government was made aware of the University of Chicago's unexpected emergency decision to adjust the winter quarter start time and initial instructional period,” Executive Vice President for Internal Affairs Allen Abbott told The Maroon. “We recognize the various impacts this decision has on every student and are in real time contact with various University offices.”

Unlike the College, the University of Chicago Law School will start classes remotely on January 3 and begin spring quarter on March 21, as previously scheduled, in order to meet “accreditation requirements,” as per the provost’s email. 

The provost also added that medical students, especially those in clinical rotations, could face extra requirements. The Executive MBA program at the Booth School of Business will hold classes remotely on January 7, 8, 21, and 22.

"College Council will also meet over the coming days to decide on additional steps to address the evolving winter quarter situation,” said Abbott. USG is encouraging students with questions or concerns to fill out a form they released in order to inform them of what to bring up to University administrators.

Students who wish to request early-arrival housing assistance from the Student Advocate's Office can use the form here.