Make all NYIT courses available online for Fall 2020

Make all NYIT courses available online for Fall 2020

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Hui (Henry) Chen started this petition to New York institute of Technology and

Dear President Foley,

As the number of COVID-19 new cases in the US continue to rise, and NY county remains the most infected county in the state, the student of the New York Institute of Technology are shocked at the prospect of a return to in-person classed for Fall 2020. As economic and political forces pressure universities across the country to reopen, we do not believe that such a decision is in the best interest of students. Having more than 20 students sit in the classroom together for one to three hours at a time multiple days a week is not the kind of social distancing being prescribed by experts. No one should be required to risk infection in order to continue education.

NYIT has a diverse student body and some older faculty members who would be at even greater risk should the university decide to hold classes in person this fall. Also, many international students that have left the country cannot reenter due to travel bans by their respective countries. There are also those students who have underlying health conditions who, in the absence due to this pandemic, could certainly participate in on-campus classes, but would be unable to do so under current circumstances. Many young people have such conditions and, because they are usually able to participate fully, may easily be overlooked as this decision is being made. In addition, many students and faculty members rely on subways as a primary transport tool in order to reach NYIT. This will increase the risk of being infected by COVID-19.

It is also important to take students’ financial situations into account. Many students or parents have lost their jobs and will/ may not get them back. Parents who were previously able to provide financial support may no longer be able to. For these reasons, students may wish to live with relatives to save money. This may take them further away from campus and make it impossible to attend classes in person. Students with children may have lost their childcare, and therefore be unable to attend classes in person.

In conclusion, holding in-person lectures in Fall 2020 may in effect be a barrier to some students' access to education. Should the university decide to hold classes on campus, we propose the following solutions:

  1. Faculty teaching courses in Fall 2020 should be required to make all course materials, including lectures, quizzes, and exams, available on Blackboard/ Google Drive. Any course component that requires students to be on campus should be adapted to an online format or eliminated or replaced.
  2. There should be no requirements for students to attend classes in person, and no penalty for not doing so.
  3. Faculty should be able to eliminate the in-person component of their courses entirely if they are inclined to do so. They should be protected as well.
  4. University leadership should decide on the matter and inform students on or before August 1st, 2020.
0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!