Move Occidental College to Online/Remote Class System

Move Occidental College to Online/Remote Class System

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Occidental Student started this petition to Occidental College and

The students of Occidental College do not feel safe resuming the spring academic semester due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. We would like Occidental College to transition to online/remote classes as a precautionary measure which will prevent the infection of students and staff. With so many students traveling for spring break, and many metropolitan campuses adopting the online system, it is time for Occidental College to cancel classes until further notice. Given the reported cases at UCLA's campus, and USC's recent decision to test online lectures, Occidental must acknowledge the public health threat posed by COVID-19 in the LA area. Currently, there are 133 reported cases in California, 16 cases in Los Angeles County, and a steadily rising number of "presumed positives" in the area. In a city as populated and widespread as Los Angeles, it is inevitable that a virus of this caliber will make its way onto campus or infect an employee.

Because of COVID-19's asymptomatic nature, there is a possibility that many students/staff have already become infected in the LA area or through their spring break travels. Given the influx of students returning next week, one case could infect the entire campus. Many students live/have traveled to the Seattle, New York, and Boston metro areas which are current hotspots for infection. As of March 9th, many colleges including Washington University, Stanford University, Berklee College, Princeton University, Columbia University, Amherst College, UC Berkely, Barnard College, Seattle University, Hofstra University, Fordham University, SJSU, Rice University, and Yeshiva University have moved to online classes and closed campus. Additionally, many public school districts such as Scarsdale in New York’s Westchester County have closed due to infection fears. Until proper precautions have been taken to ensure the wellbeing of the students, Occidental students request the immediate suspension of in-person courses. Students with underlying medical histories, compromised immune systems, or upcoming return-travel are at extreme risk of falling victim to this novel virus.

While we fully acknowledge Occidental’s diligent communications with students and parents, an immediate response is now required. Mandatory attendance jeopardizes the health and wellbeing of the entire Occidental community as well as its contacts. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance allowing colleges to “pivot quickly to distance instruction” without normal approval procedures. With multiple governors now declaring "State of Emergency," we urge Occidental to address this growing issue and grant our requests. The risk of having hundreds of students return to the campus is too great. No student should be forced to put their life at risk or endure a campus quarantine. Proactive decisions must occur now.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!