LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More than 30,000 students will begin class at UNLV on Monday -- 6,100 for the first time.
However, a rise in COVID cases caused by the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus has forced life on campus to look very different than what administrators planned a few months ago.
Admins had originally planned to offer 80% of classes in person, but the coronavirus spike forced them to drop in-person offerings to 60% and 40% will be offered remotely.
On average, 90% of classes are offered in person.
The talk of campus heading into the new year has been the new vaccine mandate from the Nevada State Board of Health.
Students have been split in reacting to the mandate signed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak forcing students in all public colleges to be vaccinated by Nov. 1 to enroll in the spring semester.
Jennifer Buys says it should be her choice.
“It makes me skeptical, especially after taking a look at all the things that pop up all over the internet and the fact that it is not FDA approved,” Buys said.
The New York Times first reported that the Pfizer vaccine could be given full approval as early as Monday.
Student Tiana Joy Pastor says this has been long overdue and that distance learning has hindered her education.
“The goal is just to get everyone in a safe environment so that we can learn more effectively,” said Pastor.
UNLV administrators say the residence halls have also been capped to 1,300 to help prevent the spread of COVID, and all students must wear masks in communal areas.
A week of welcome back activities has been planned virtually and in-person for the first week of classes.
A full list of welcome back events can be viewed by clicking here.