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Northwestern University freshmen, sophomores will not return to campus

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Underclassmen at Northwestern University will not return to campus this semester and fraternity and sorority houses remain shuttered, the university announced Friday.

University officials said the change in plans was due to community feedback, coronavirus cases rising throughout suburban Chicago and other schools’ experiences reopening their campuses.

“This is not a letter we wanted to write, but we are compelled to make several adjustments to our plans for undergraduate students this fall after consulting with Northwestern Medicine experts as well as state and local public health officials,” the university told students in the announcement. 

Other universities across the country have experienced outbreaks upon reopening, with some reporting clusters in Greek housing complexes.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for example, suspended in-person undergraduate courses earlier this month after reporting several coronavirus clusters since students were welcomed back to campus.

“If all goes as planned,” Northwestern officials said, the students will be able to come to campus for the Winter Quarter in January. The university also announced they will reduce undergraduate tuition by 10% for Fall Quarter. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported 231,363 cases of the coronavirus and 8,008 deaths.

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