PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Stanford University’s undergraduate students learned Thursday they will not be allowed to live on campus this fall, despite previous statements to the contrary from the school.

Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced the policy reversal in a letter sent to students Thursday afternoon.

“I am writing to let you know that, with great regret, we have made the decision to alter the provisional plans we had announced in June for undergraduate education during the coming autumn quarter,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “We will not be able to invite first-year, sophomore and new transfer undergraduate cohorts to be in residence on campus for the autumn quarter, as we had hoped.”

In the letter, Tessier-Lavigne explained the change was due to spiking COVID-19 cases in California and the state’s guidance for higher institutions, which requires severe restrictions on in-person instruction, including no indoor classes.

“Our initial plans for the coming year were developed amid a changing public health situation,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “At the time, it was reasonable to expect that the situation would continue to improve by this point in the summer.“

The reversal comes two days after the Pac-12 announced it postponed all sports through the fall.

The university initially planned to allow half of its undergraduate population to live on campus and alternate students each quarter. The school plans to have graduate students attend school in person due to their “living, dining and academic experiences” being different from undergraduates, according to Tessier-Lavigne.

Tessier-Lavigne also stated that if conditions improve, the school plans to invite freshmen, sophomores and new transfer students to live on campus during the Winter quarter.

“We will continue planning with the hope and expectation of bringing undergraduates back to Stanford at the earliest possible time,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Read the rest of Tessier-Lavigne’s letter here.

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