(CNN)Princeton University is welcoming its undergraduate students back to campus next semester — with some strings attached.
The Ivy League school announced on Tuesday that it will invite all enrolled students back to live and learn on or near campus when the spring semester starts in February. During the fall semester, undergrads were fully remote while graduate students were allowed on campus. Students who want to keep learning remotely can do so.Most instruction will still be online, and classes that are in person will have a hybrid format, meaning each class has an online component.The psychology behind why some college students break Covid-19 rulesUndergrads returning to campus will be doing so knowing that there are certain guidelines. Beyond the usual mask and social distancing requirements, students will be housed by themselves in dorm rooms with no visitors allowed, and most social gatherings and parties are prohibited. The students also will be restricted from traveling.”The masking and the public health practices that we’ve cultivated on the Princeton campus are a really important part of the planning that we’ve done for the spring semester,” Christopher L. Eisgruber, the university’s president, said in a video posted on the school’s website and Twitter account. Read MoreIn a letter to the student community, Eisgruber said all students who return to campus must participate in the university’s testing program and will be required to quarantine when they arrive.Eisgruber also announced a recently set up Covid-19 testing laboratory that will be available to use. The lab is reportedly able to test a minimum of 2,000 individual samples per day. There are 8,213 combined undergraduate and graduate students on its campus, with an additional 1,289 faculty members. Nationwide surge in Covid-19 cases has officials planning new restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving“We have concluded that if we test the campus population regularly, and if everyone on campus rigorously adheres to public health guidance about masking, social distancing and other practices, we can welcome a far greater number of students back to Princeton,” Eisgruber wrote.The decision to reopen the campus to all students comes at the same time as hospitalization across the US reaches a record high. Three million new Covid-19 infections were reported in the first three weeks of this month. At the same time, colleges and universities around the country are canceling in-person classes in anticipation of this trend continuing. Two months ago, New Jersey reported its highest daily increase since the summer with 864 reported cases. On Monday, its data tracker reported 3,592 cases on that day alone. Princeton’s announcement has garnered some backlash on Twitter, with students responding with criticism, saying that allowing them back on campus is counterproductive. Students are pointing to the ineffectiveness of asking students to social distance as medical professionals anticipate that the virus is here to stay until 2022. “I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a University of Melbourne panel discussion. Princeton plans to host several town halls next week to answer questions from students and their families.