OPTION for All Fall Semester Courses Offered Remotely at Belmont University

OPTION for All Fall Semester Courses Offered Remotely at Belmont University

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Coral Goldstein started this petition to Belmont University and

***There are very little options for those who want/need to take Fall 2020 courses remotely. This petition is simply trying to grant the OPTION for ALL courses to be held remotely for those unable to return to campus Fall 2020***

As Tennessee begins to reopen, we have seen an unprecedented spike in positive COVID-19 cases. This spike has occurred across all states throughout the country, increasing daily. As of yesterday, there are over 43,000 active cases in Tennessee in the last 12 hours alone and there are over 8,600 cases in Davidson county. Aside from just Nashville or Tennessee's impact, the nation has 2.69 MILLION active cases and rising deaths. However, despite concerns from students at Belmont University, we are being forced to either join in-person classes or a form of hybrid classes.

In Bob Fisher's email to Belmont's faculty and student body on May 25th, a remote learning option was stated: "For students who are not comfortable or able to come back to the physical campus in the fall but wish to begin or continue pursuing a Belmont education, there will be options to enroll in a semester of fully remote learning. More details about both of these options are forthcoming, but for now we want you to know that we’re planning to accommodate as many different needs as possible." Many of us have not made plans to return on campus due to the global pandemic.

Yesterday, a plan was announced by Bob Fisher that acknowledged return to campus, yet glazed over any form of remote learning for those whose families are not able to send them back to physically be on campus in the fall whether it be due to job loss or health risks. This is a time that families being bound together during this unforeseen time is emphasized, especially at our educational institutes.The accommodations Belmont is offering for their remote courses is extremely slim to none. The announcement gave little information about what options are available for those that are not comfortable with returning to campus as cases and deaths are steadily increasing. The school is also failing to offer the possibility of additional accommodations to those who live with a high risk person and those that are simply being cautious. If Belmont was able to accommodate Summer and Maymester courses being reverted to remote in order to continue providing enriching educational to their students and keeping their safety in mind, a similar and equal opportunity should be granted for Fall 2020. 

Rather than push the problem off on the students and professors, the leaders in this school need to take charge by enforcing an opt in online session for all classes just as they did in this summer. While not all of the student body is concerned about the spread, those who are should be given the option to continue their education via distance learning and without fear for their lives or the lives of their families. 

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