Open CSU System Campuses for Fall 2020
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We are asking the CSU system to open their campuses to allow for in person instruction and housing for Fall 2020. We ask the CSU Board of Trustees and CSU Chancellor Timothy White, along with each individual CSU president to reconsider their decision of having only online learning.
Almost all universities across the United States are opening to some extent in Fall 2020 whether it be through hybrid classes or opening completely in person. On Wednesday, May 20th the UC system president, Janet Napolitano, announced they are planning to open in the fall using the hybrid system with small classes and labs meeting in person while large lectures will be online. This is not the case for the CSU system as they declared nearly all learning will be conducted remotely. If the UC system can find a way to protect the students and staff while still delivering high-quality education in person, the CSU system should be able to find a way as well.
Some CSU schools, such as CSU Monterey Bay, are proposing that many lab and studio classes be completely cancelled for Fall 2020 and moved to Spring 2021. This is extremely problematic for many students, including STEM and CART majors, as they need to take these classes in Fall 2020 in order to stay on track and graduate in four years. These types of classes do not transfer well to online learning and need to be taught through in-person instruction in order to gain the necessary skills and experience.
Students deserve a high-quality education that cannot be effectively transferred to online learning. Online learning is nowhere near the same quality of education as it is in person. It is difficult to learn material independently without the face-to-face interaction with professors, students and other colleagues to enrich the learning experience. The relationships and bonds created in a classroom with peers and professors cannot be replicated or replaced in an online learning environment.
The impact of the CSU system being completely online for Fall 2020 will dramatically affect not only the students themselves, but all stakeholders, including the surrounding communities around each university. The CSU’s mission statement specifically states that each CSU school will help serve their communities as educational, public service, cultural, and artistic centers in ways appropriate to individual campus locations and emphases. This cannot be done when students are not on campus to help fully enrich their communities.
The health and safety of students and faculty members is always a priority and can be accomplished with students returning to campus if careful planning and consideration is done by the administration of each CSU. COVID-19 testing and tracking will be necessary for the reopening of the campuses. Many universities in California and across the United States are allowing students to return to campus while implementing the above. The CSU system has not made any attempt whatsoever to even consider this option. The CSU’s mission statement clearly says that in order to accomplish its mission over time and under changing conditions, the California State University system will work in partnership with other California educational institutions to maximize educational opportunities for students. This situation provides the perfect opportunity for the CSU system to work with other California educational institutions, including private universities and the UC system, to come up with a way to open the campuses to students allowing them to maximize their education. Replicating what these other institutions are doing will allow the CSU system to fulfill their mission statement.
If you believe that the CSU schools should open their campuses for Fall 2020, we ask that you sign this petition.
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