NYU, Princeton cancel holiday parties, recommend remote final exams

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
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N.J. Burkett has the latest on Mayor Bill de Blasio's detailed plan to enforce the vaccine mandate for all New York City businesses on Wednesday.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- NYU announced on Wednesday that due to an increase in COVID cases, it was canceling holiday parties and recommending final exams be remote.

The university put out an alert saying, "IMPORTANT NEWS: Our COVID-19 testing program has indicated a considerable acceleration in the rate of NYU community cases. It's not a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern, caution, and appropriate actions."

The university went on to say they strongly encourage that final examinations and/or assessments be changed to remote/online format and that faculty should notify students of the final examination format as soon as possible and ideally no later than 5 p.m, Wednesday.

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Also, all discretionary, non-essential, non-academic gatherings and events were to be canceled immediately.

NYU had just announced one day prior that they will require all of its community members to receive COVID booster shots, on top of the first vaccines, by January 18.

School officials say about 80% of the NYU community is currently eligible for the booster, and about 3,000 people have already uploaded proof of having received it.

Princeton University followed suit.

"Given that we've seen an uptick in cases among undergraduates during the last 24 hours -- including suspected cases of the highly contagious omicron variant -- we hope to avoid letting the final exam schedule interfere with students' travel home for Winter Break," Princeton University Dean Jill Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun said in a statement. "We certainly don't want you remaining on campus in required isolation through the holidays."

All indoor events at Princeton involving food and where face coverings cannot be worn must be canceled or postponed.

Cornell University is also making changes, as the school in Ithaca moved to "alert level red" after evidence of the omicron variant showed up in student testing samples.

That means final exams have been moved to online, all university activities have been canceled, libraries and gyms are closed, and dining halls are encouraging "grab and go" meals.

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