Target: President Chris Markwood, Columbus State University, CSU Student Government Association, CSU Provost, Steve Wrigley, University System of Georgia
Shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March of this year, CSU announced that the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester would be held remotely to prevent the spread of the virus. At that time, approximately 150,000 Americans had tested positive for COVID. As we approach the Fall 2020 semester, a total of four and a half million Americans have tested positive and more than 150,000 people have died from the virus.
USG’s decision to resume face-to-face learning is a threat to the health of all CSU students, faculty, and staff. While CSU is making some strides in preventing the spread of the virus on campus, a significant part of the CSU population does not feel safe enough to return. Over 140 CSU faculty members called for mostly online classes in an open letter directed at both CSU and USG administration.They stated a desire for labs and studios to meet if given proper safe circumstances by CSU. The faculty senate voted to have President Chris Markwood deliver the letter to USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. The next day, USG released a letter that reiterated the plans for in-person classes.
No one should have to compromise their health—or the health of their classmates, professors, roommates, or family members—in order to receive an education. We are asking that USG and CSU guarantee that students and faculty be allowed to do 100% online instruction. We want to remove any penalties for refusing to come to face-to-face classes regardless of official accommodations.
We understand that certain lab and studio courses cannot necessarily be transitioned online, and that some lab and studio work requires equipment that is only available on campus. Additionally, some students may need to go to campus for tutoring or in-person office hours. We ask that CSU find safe ways to conduct certain lab and studio classes to allow flexibility for students. Students should still not be penalized if they cannot attend these classes in person, however.
Some seniors may be struggling to take all of their required courses due to limited course time and selection options for the upcoming semester. Going virtual would help these seniors complete their degrees in time, if those classes are held asynchronously.
CSU has the capabilities to go online once again. Professors were able to shift to online instruction within two weeks in March. With that experience, they should be more able to do so this Fall. It will be easier for professors to prepare now that they have the additional training and time to do so. We understand that online instruction is not necessarily as fulfilling as in-person instruction, but we are willing to compromise this because our health and safety is more important than returning to campus.
Club for the Autonomy and Agency for All Peoples (CAAAP)
You can sign the Google Forms petition below to show your support.
Yeluri Sai Akshay
Willie Sykes III
Rebecca A Walker
Tommy C Turner
Juan Laspina Jr