Things look a bit different as Illinois State University welcomes students back to campus for the 2020 fall semester. Family, friends and employees continue to take proper precautions as they move in amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately eight months have passed since the world was first introduced to the coronavirus. Since then, the world has been forced to live alongside the virus and adjust everyday life as it was once known to be.

Below is a timeline of some key events since the start of the pandemic.

March 2: Illinois State University strongly encourages current ISU students studying abroad in Italy to consider the risks if they do not return to the United States.

March 6: ISU encourages all students who are studying abroad in Italy and Japan to come back to the United States as soon as possible.

March 11: ISU extends spring break until March 23 and transitions from face-to-face teaching to online instruction through at least April 12.

March 17: ISU moves to online classes for the rest of the spring semester.

March 19: University Housing requests students to completely move out of their residence hall rooms and complete the spring semester at their permanent residences.

March 20: ISU announces that spring and summer commencements will be held in a virtual format.

March 25: Students begin to push for the option to switch their classes to the ISU pass and no pass grading system due to COVID-19.

April 3: ISU adopts the pass/no pass grading system for online classes for the spring semester.

April 9: ISU announces that summer classes will be going all online.

April 22: ISU’s two-day summer orientation and registration program, known as Preview, moves to a virtual environment.

May 11: Two ISU students are reported to be among new McLean County COVID-19 cases.

May 26: Two ISU students sue the university, saying that the student fees refund was not enough based on how much of the campus was closed.

June 10: Dietz announces the return of students for the fall semester with proper safety protocol and several learning formats and sends out the first Redbirds Return report.

June 30: ISU faculty, staff and students create a 16-page letter addressed to Dietz, asking for more transparency and protection for the reopening of campus.

July 3: ISU calls a virtual meeting days after faculty and staff express concerns about the upcoming semester. The meeting was scheduled for July 16.

July 9: Dietz holds a press conference with an updated version of the Redbirds Return report.

July 27: Faculty members continue to express their concern for the Redbirds Return plan during the Board of Trustees meeting.

July 29: ISU strongly encourages students to get tested before returning to campus. ISU also announces that they will provide free masks for all students.

Aug. 4: Dietz announces that most classes will be online for the fall semester due to testing capabilities not being available as originally planned.

Aug. 10: ISU administration asks the Board of Trustees to approve spending $3.3 million on random surveillance testing for students.

Aug. 11: A student living in the residence halls tests positive for the virus.

Aug. 12: The Board of Trustees approves spending $3.3 million on random surveillance testing for students.

Aug. 17: Fall semester classes begin in a mostly online mode.

KELLIE FOY is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_kafoy1@ilstu.edu  Follow Foy on Twitter at @kellie_foy 

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