UW Law: Put Health and Safety First

UW Law: Put Health and Safety First

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Brendan Lyman started this petition to University of Wisconsin Law School Administration

In the midst of a global pandemic, UW Law has elected to put students at risk by limiting remote/distance/virtual learning options, requiring attendance policies for in-person classes, and rejecting alternatives that other law schools throughout the country have embraced. Worse yet, UW Law has made these decisions without any transparency or explanation behind what led to their choices. 

In a time when society is declaring #BlackLivesMatter, UW Law’s decision neglects to account for the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 continues to take on communities of color. Further, UW Law’s decision will result in students, faculty, and staff living with disabilities to be treated as second class community members. 

Bluntly, UW Law's decision will lead to sick students, staff, and faculty. It will likely lead to loss of life.


We— the students, family, and UW Law community—are asking the administration to:

1) Reconsider any class being solely offered in-person and instead  adopt a flexible policy more similar to Georgetown Law or an appropriate flexible alternative.

2) Explain the reasoning behind the policies expressed in Dean Kelly's 6/30/2020 email.

3) If no changes are made to classes scheduled to be taught in-person, explain how the law school will accommodate/ensure the safety of students who will need to take their classes at the school because of the Administration's current schedule.

4) Provide the policy for when a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and what procedures would immediately be implemented.

5) Explain the logistical plan for the layout of the law school to ensure social distancing. This includes the spaces outside of classrooms like the library, atrium, entrances, exits, lockers, and elevators given that in-person classes are scheduled in classrooms on multiple floors. 

6) Issue a mandatory masking policy for all those present in the law school. 

7) Provide transportation alternatives or recommendations since the majority of students will have to take public transit.

8) Explain how the law school’s academic calendar reflects the Campus plan of making all in-person classes remote after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

9) Explain the discretion that was given to professors to decide if their classes would be in-person or remote.

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