Stop mandatory attendance at The University of Adelaide

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On behalf of all concerned university students and staff:

This petition is to gain signatures to stop mandatory attendance at The University of Adelaide. As of 15th of March 2020 there are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Australia with the actual number of infected likely much higher than this and rising exponentially. Being proactive and taking action NOW is the best way to slow down an outbreak.

The main reasons to stop mandatory attendance for students and staff are:

1. To remove a source of spread. The University of Adelaide is a hotspot with people from all around Adelaide attending and therefore there is high amount of transit within the university and also between the city and the university.

2. The mental health and grades of students will be compromised during these times. This puts students under stress, potentially compromising their immune system.

3. It is an unfair expectation for university students to attend university for compulsory classes (such as practicals and tutorials) to save their academic grade.

4. The majority of university students are young people and symptoms are likely mild. Students may not know they have it, yet they are still carriers. This is very dangerous because they may infect people who are at a greater risk, specifically the elderly, immunocompromised and those with other illnesses.

This is not an overreaction, it is an attempt to be prudent. The mental health of the entire community has been greatly affected by this global crisis, with students and lecturers (among others) afraid of attending.

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There is already a great system in place for watching lectures and doing online quizzes. If there were a way to extend this online ideology to the other compulsory (in-person) classes, this should be done as soon as possible. Ignoring practicals and other compulsory classes for grading could present an issue when it comes to the integrity of university courses, and standardising qualifications from previous years. If it is impossible to put these components online, maybe the university should at least consider deferring these components until the situation has relaxed.