USC Is the Latest University to Start its Spring Semester Online

For now, that's only for a week

USC is making a temporary foray back to remote learning.
Sitao Xiang, CC BY-SA 4.0

With COVID-19 cases surging again and a general sense of frustration abounding across the nation, it’s understandable to have a sense of déjà vu right about now. The latest manifestation of this? Some colleges and universities are opting to play it safe and begin the spring semester online.

The latest to opt for a return to remote learning, Deadline reports, is the University of Southern California. According to an announcement made by USC’s administration at the end of last week, the university will have at least its first week of classes held remotely. Its new student conversation for the spring semester will also be delayed.

Remote learning, in this case, doesn’t mean that USC’s dorms won’t be open. They’re still slated to open on time, but negative COVID tests will be required to move in. USC will also require students and faculty to have gotten booster shots.

This policy is the latest manifestation of what Sarah Zhang, writing in The Atlantic, dubbed “a soft lockdown.” While governments local and national alike seem reluctant to respond to the Omicron variant with widespread lockdowns, when institutions of higher learning, eateries and athletic clubs all take a step back from where they’d been a few months ago, it’s not surprising that this all feels a little familiar.

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