UChicago Fall Quarter

My DD is starting to hear that the Fall quarter will be a hybrid system (online and in person), anyone hear anything else?

This is what I get so far:


Everything of course has to work with the State of Illinois guideline as well as City of Chicago prerogative. All things being equal, fall quarter will most likely be comprised of in person small classes and seminars and online big lectures. But if for some reason we fail to get to Phase 4 by mid August, then I don’t know how University can realistically start any in person classes for the fall quarter.

In the event that classes do not resume back on campus in the Fall, what is the likelihood your child will sit out the quarter?

Unlikely, she is a rising 4th year and will graduate after the winter qtr. She also is prepping her grad school applications.

@momo2x2018 If students are not allowed back on campus, my daughter may consider a quarter off to work on an election campaign. However, we would need to understand the ramifications on things like her scholarship and housing for coming back for winter quarter.

@browniesundae & @CU123 Thanks. I hope we know soon if some semblance of campus live will resume in the Fall. And dorm life? How do they live in a community of

100+ and maintain ‘social distance’? There would be very little community eating, dorm life or social life. It sounds very depressing!

I’m all for being safe, but in my community, people are eating in restaurants, shopping, etc. Health clubs are open, churches are open, amusement parks are opening next week. Unless there is a big “second wave” this summer, by October many cities may be almost totally “open” with some precautions. If th fuzzy kcmrat is the case, then trying to keep students from dining together, working out, or gathering for RSO meetings may seem extreme. I honestly don’t know the right answer. Just trying to be patient. What seems “right” at the beginning of June may be different from what seems “right” in late September.

My DD lives off campus but she already knows that one of her roommates isn’t coming back for the Fall qtr. Her roommate is an international student and will do online classes or skip the qtr.

I’m thinking that I’ll likely send my S back, and if dorms are not open, find him a place in Hyde Park; I think being at home (as much as I am thrilled to have him with me!) from March until January, could be very stunting.

My D tells me she’ll take leave this fall quarter if it is online only as long as UChicago permits it. She was supposed to be abroad this fall but those plans have been shelved. Instead, she’ll stay in her off campus apt with her current roommates and continue to work her part time job remotely and also volunteer more hours on a political campaign. She’s on track to be able to graduate early so skipping a quarter shouldn’t derail her plan to graduate with her class (w/the unintended bonus of saving us fall tuition).

That said, she really hopes the university will be back in person in some form this fall. UChicago also has the huge new Woodlawn Residential complex ready to go this fall so there should be more capacity to bring students back.

@KnightsRidge Good point. Woodlawn could help provide some extra space for lower housing density plus the financial incentive to bring in the room and board $$ by having on campus instruction in some form.

This is the email from Provost Lee last Wednesday:


Quoted: "Our intention is to bring as much of the University community back to campus as possible in time for the Autumn Quarter, in a way that is fully consistent with upholding public health and following the guidelines established by federal, state, and local authorities. "

Illinois is in Phase 3 of re-opening. And if everything goes according to plan, we shall enter Phase 4 by end of June.

“Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those surveillance tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.”

No one know what the infection rate in Hyde Park and Chicago will look like in late September. Yet my guess of fall quarter will be, barring a massive worsening in terms of COVID-19 positivity rate, a relatively normal dorm life, normal seminar and discussion session and online class for large lectures. Older professors may prefer to have active social distancing from students. But TA may interact with students as if nothing has happened. Oh well, they may have to put on their face masks :wink: .

Zero. Although he misses his friends and some campus activities, my son’s classes are mostly in subjects that lend themselves to online formats - math and CS. He’s found the online format fine, likes the fact that he can replay lectures and has found his profs readily accessible online and in “office hours”. So he’s actually enjoyed the bit of a break being home and having some flexibility in the classes. He’d be fine doing another online quarter.

He’s living off campus in an apartment starting in Fall so he’ll be there instead of home even if classes are online. We’re pretty sure his roommate will also be there as he’s from Brazil and hasn’t been able to even go home to visit since the pandemic started due to the high infection rate in Brazil.

I think that’s the difference - your S will be living independently, mine is a rising sophomore, and living on campus is required. If the fall quarter is 100% online, I think I’ll be inclined to send him back and he can find a room/roommate to share with off campus.

@momo2x2018 that’s a good idea as it supports physical proximity to campus. However, I’d look carefully into what exactly is opened up in HP and the rest of Chicago. I was just there. Phase III was delayed due to the riots/looting and corresponding curfew on the city, and wasn’t truly kicking off till I left town yesterday, so I can’t answer to how things like the re-opening of libraries and dental offices or allowing outdoor dining have changed the energy level. Right now the lakefront is still supposedly off-limits and the downtown is empty. The most happening thing in town last week were protests and perhaps watching where the National Guard and state patrol were setting up camp. HP looked semi-deserted and slightly unkempt due to lack of mowing on the Midway. Shops were boarded up due to looting, and there are more homeless and panhandlers about than usual - not really surprising because the lockdowns have probably destroyed their livelihoods and social networks.

If autumn is another remote quarter at the university, I’d support my son if he wanted to get temporary lodging nearby, and we’d probably petition the university to get real and allow 2nd years to live off campus the entire year. Let’s face it, there’s no functional house system via remote so why bother pretending otherwise come fall. But what I’d RECOMMEND to my son is that he stay home with us or live nearby locally. Not really worried about safety so much (I have two other children living in HP and are happy there) as I am concerned that he would miss having access to genuine means of respite from his studies. What good is it to pick up and go to Chicago if no one else is around campus, gym isn’t open, CSO isn’t in session, restaurants aren’t allowed to provide regular dining, museums are shut down and even the lakefront is a no-no? He can only be so interested in the Ducks on Botany Pond (and they’d be getting ready to take off).

As to whether my son would even want return in the fall, that’s not entirely clear. He didn’t enroll at UC in order to do remote learning and his planned major really isn’t appropriate to that format. He was fine this quarter because he was in third quarter of Hum and Sosc so knew the ropes, and was finishing up F/L and Arts Core requirements. No huge deal. Major - different story. VERY big deal. I’m sure he’s not alone. So I think it’d be a mistake for UC NOT to open up or to be prevented from doing so.

@JBStillFlying Thank you, for your very clear thoughts and analysis. The picture you paint of your visit to Chicago, is quite grim!

Since I posted the above, it seems Chicago has descended into a state of almost complete lawlessness - that worries me more than Covid! Last weekend, there were 18 fatal shootings; the highest number in 60 years!!! I may be too scared to send my S back! Ugh!

@momo2x2018 As a long time Chicagoan (although I live in the suburbs) , I would advise that please do not let the news headline give you a distorted picture of safety in the City and especially in Hyde Park. All of the fatal shootings are in urban slum outside the Hyde Park/Kenwood/Woodlawn area frequented by students.

In view of the George Floyd shooting incident, it is indeed regrettable that most non African Americans, including me, in Chicago (or any big cities for that matter) have this out of sight, out of mind attitude towards urban crime. There may be 20 fatal shootings but they are NOT happening anywhere near the students hang out area.

Honestly, unless your kid decides to drive to Englewood or Riverdale at 1:00 am and sit in the car with a shiny MacBook Pro, nothing serious would happen to your kid. With UCPD and CPD, Hyde Park has a strong police presence. Your kid will be safe during the school year as long as (s)he stays in the UCPD frequently patrolled area.

My D received an invite to an online “Planning Update for Return to Campus” which is happening tomorrow at 5pm central. She has registered. (I may sit in on this one!) Did all students receive this? Or maybe she got it because she is on IHC?

@browniesundae at least one of my kids got that too. We signed up.

A few more comments:

As I mentioned, I have two kids living in HP at the moment. Right before 9 am this morning, they were actually more likely to be struck by lightning than get mugged. I say that because lightning stuck their building right at that time :wink:

Covid and shelter-in-place have definitely caused stress to the entire south side, and the looting and riots are not unconnected to this. It would be a mistake to assume that there’s simply no impact on Hyde Park itself. Indeed, we know that HP was targeted and hit (see below). This is what I’d worry about: Walgreens or Whole Foods or TJ’s leaving the area, or established local businesses - both long-timers and newer - closing up shop. That would hurt the area and it would hurt the university. I’d also worry about how the looting may have harmed the vibrancy and economic progress of the south side in general. Looting is a horrible negative - many communities simply don’t recover from it.

I wouldn’t worry so much about student safety. Despite (continuing) calls to defund UCPD and despite the topic being prominently addressed during Provost Lee’s Stand up to Racism webinar the other day, that simply isn’t going to happen and everybody knows it. The reason why UCPD is allowed to patrol the wide area it covers has nothing to do with abusive police tactics and everything to do with ensuring safety for everyone - university members and non.



Well I’m heading there (Woodlawn) this weekend to help my DD move some of her stuff, there must be some students hanging out there since she is subletting her apartment to 3 of them.