U of M students to face curbs, curfews as they return to campus quarters

Goldy statue wearing a mask.
A statue of Goldy, the mascot of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, with a mask on is seen on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus in April.
Glenn Stubbe | Star Tribune via AP file

Updated: 4:55 p.m.

University of Minnesota students returning to campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester will find their movements restricted early on as the university works to stem the spread of COVID-19.

A four-step plan laid out Tuesday by U President Joan Gabel includes confining undergraduate and graduate students mostly to their residence halls for 10 days — except for work, eating or attending any in-person classes.

Students would also be prohibited from visiting off-campus businesses.

The second two-week phase offers wider access, but includes a 9 p.m. curfew for resident students. A midnight curfew will follow for two weeks after that.

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A fourth step lifts the time restrictions, although masks, social distancing and other precautions will remain in place.

The policy says students who don’t comply may be subject to discipline.

The plan does not apply to students on the U’s Morris or Crookston campuses, who have already moved in, or to students who live off campus.

"We're striking the balance between something that feels imprisoning, we don't want that,” Gabel told Minnesota legislators on Tuesday. “We want students to be able to enjoy campus life, we want them to have a reason to come on to campus, but in a way that also allows us to incentivize avoiding the most known ways that transmission occurs."

Correction (Sept. 2, 2020): An earlier version of this story mistakenly included graduate apartment housing in the initial restrictions planned by the university.