Demand an Immediate Transition to Online Classes At GVSU

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The mismanagement of Grand Valley State University's COVID-19 response has been frankly horrifying. With more than 600 cases in the GVSU community, the decision made by President Mantella and the Board of Trustees is nothing less than negligence. They are putting our students, our faculty, our staff, and our entire community at risk for infection and serious illness in order to keep campus open. Many of us have recognized this for that it is: a money grab. When we've confronted the Virus Action Team or taken to social media to express concern, our rightful fear has largely been dismissed and ignored. Many of us are angry at the dramatic transformation of our lives, many of us are angry about the lack of accountability and leadership, many of us are afraid, many of us are struggling financially, many of us have loved ones who are sick and have died, and yet President Mantella and the board of trustees refuse to hear our concerns.

Well, 'Philly', hear this:

The students, faculty, and staff of Grand Valley State University demand an immediate transition to online classes and the closure of unessential campus facilities. We demand that you refund the FULL cost of housing and meal plans this semester upon the closure of campus. We demand that you allow students to drop classes with a minimum 50% tuition refund through the end of the semester. We demand that you do right by your disenfranchised students and make sure that everyone has adequate housing, food, access to technology, access to healthcare, and mental health support. We demand that you adequately compensate faculty, especially adjunct and contingent faculty, for the extra time they must spend constructing online courses. We demand that the future reopening of GVSU must be assessed and approved by Student Senate and the University Academic Senate.

This is not too much accountability and leadership to ask of a woman who makes $480,000 a year on the backs of students who are sick and struggling. If you cannot meet these demands before this outbreak spirals even further out of control, we will be forced to also demand your resignation as President of Grand Valley State University.