Allow a Remote Learning Option for NYU Students and Faculty for Spring 2022

This petition is one of 741 petitions in the movement "Support Remote Learning and Flexible Grading Policies."Learn more about the movement.

Allow a Remote Learning Option for NYU Students and Faculty for Spring 2022

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Ellie S started this petition to NYU College of Arts & Science and

On January 12, 2022, NYU sent an email announcing their plan to begin the Spring 2022 semester fully in-person, despite the prevalence of Omicron in New York City. "Our NYU community will likely experience high case counts that are consistent with trends in NYC." Although they require all students and faculty to obtain the vaccine booster by January 18th, that does not prevent the spread of Covid-19 to students, faculty, and their families and friends.

The current attitude is that we will get sick, but professors will accommodate students who contract the virus while they keep up with coursework in quarantine. This forces students who are uncomfortable putting themselves and others at risk of contracting Covid-19, to do exactly that, or to suffer academically. Their solution is for students to double-mask, and wear KN95 and N95 masks, and get PCR tested 72 hours before returning to campus. There is a shortage and lack of access to KN95 masks, N95 masks, and PCR testing. There is an extreme rise in the prices of these masks, and NYU does not seem to be offering them to the students and faculty.

It feels unjust that many of us will need to attend populated classes in just two weeks from now, while so many of us have been getting sick even during winter break. New York University's positivity rate from December 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022 was 18.29%, with such a large portion of the student body not present during winter break. This statistic only includes the people who chose to report their results to the university. With people returning to campus from all over the world, and the current state of the pandemic in the city, it will obviously be much higher once we resume in-person classes on January 24th. Some are comfortable taking this risk, but many are not, and it should not put students' academic records at risk if they wish to prioritize the health of themselves and others at this time.

NYU has closed on-campus spaces to counter the spread of the virus. Eating is not allowed in NYU buildings, and dining halls are "grab-and-go." This is logical, but it leaves many commuting students without places to eat or rest while on campus for in-person classes. Many of these commuters are returning home to their families each day, and do not feel safe putting them at risk.

Many other schools in New York City, and across the country, have opted to begin the semester fully-remote for the first two weeks. This is a safer and more logical plan of action. On January 11th, hundreds of students at Brooklyn Tech walked out of school "to protest the continuation of in person school during the Omicron wave and to call for a remote option." Many people do not feel ready to return in-person, and that should be taken into account, rather than penalized. There is an absence of consideration and flexibility for students who are at higher risk, have at-risk family members, or are uncomfortable putting themselves in a position to get the virus overall. 

Rather than ignoring the health and concerns of the people who comprise this school, there should be empathy and adjustment. Although New York University says there will be flexibility at the beginning of the semester, they have also said, "We do not mandate that faculty provide access to remotely join class sessions via Zoom." This lack of understanding and true flexibility leads students to make an unjust and forced decision between education and health in a global pandemic.

This petition calls for the option to attend at least the first two weeks of classes remotely.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!