The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater announced Friday residence halls will open for the fall semester and in-person classes will resume. 

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Dwight Watson released a statement Friday announcing the university’s intent to reopen residence halls, making it the first UW System institution to affirm plans for opening residence halls in the fall. Watson said UW-Whitewater will adhere to social distancing guidelines proposed by the Centers for Disease Control, UW System, State of Wisconsin, and state and local health departments. 

“It is our intention to have students, faculty and staff return to both campuses in the fall,” Watson said in the statement. “Exactly how that looks is still being established as we seek advice from faculty and staff on safety protocols, lowering classroom density, and self-protection. However, at this time, we plan to have our residence halls open, and teaching will resume in the classroom in modified and flexible ways.”

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UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement mid-May that while UW-Madison plans to reopen in the fall, they don’t yet have a completed plan for instruction, dining or residence halls. Blank said they hope to have a plan by July.

Watson said the UW-Whitewater Emergency Operations Command team has been developing plans for resuming campus operations in the fall. Different divisions on campus are working on safely bringing employees back to campus.

Watson said in the statement a town hall meeting will be held on Webex June 9 at 11 a.m. where students can ask questions about reopoening campus to UW-Whitewater officials. Watson said while they do not have all the answers, they will answer the best they can. 

“It is my commitment to all of you that we will engage with you and communicate frequently,”  Watson said. “Your division leaders will ask for your input on important decision points. Your voice will be heard and considered.” 

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As more detailed information becomes available, Watson said UW-Whitewater will hold additional town hall meetings to inform incoming students and current students as well as families, faculty and staff, and the community.