Jul 01, 2020
Some university students, staff prepare to return to campuses amid COVID-19 case surge in Texas
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SAN ANTONIO – Students at Texas State University in San Marcos are gearing up to return to face-to-face learning starting next Monday.
The Summer II phase, which begins next week, will bring in a limited number of students to the classroom with hybrid and online lessons also continuing, according to the university’s website.
Given the current rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, some professors worry the university is moving too quickly.
Carol Delaney, an associate professor, said there will be students coming into Hays County from other counties, and “we don’t know what they’re bringing.”
She said she worries there will be a spike in cases as soon as students are back, even with all the precautions.
“I just feel like it’s the same thing that’s going to happen as when they opened bars and restaurants. People didn’t follow all the guidelines. Or maybe even if they did, the numbers in Texas have soared,” she said.
A university spokesperson said the plan was put together with extensive input from faculty and staff members. They said Texas State is in constant communication with local and state health officials.
In San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University plans to begin its phased return to in-person learning starting next Tuesday. All staff and faculty will be expected to be on campus in preparation for the fall semester by July 21.
The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Incarnate Word expect to have their fall plan details by next week.
Glenn James, vice provost of UIW, said the optimistic goal is to have face-to-face learning. A blue-ribbon committee of staff and faculty has suggested guidelines to follow. The guidelines were presented to the school president Tuesday.
“I think families and students can have a lot of confidence because the institutions in town have taken the virus very seriously, and we’re very well informed,” James said.
Both James and Delaney say online course teaching takes a whole lot more preparation than in-person instruction.
James said professors at UIW are ready to pivot to online learning if the situation changes.
“Many faculty are preparing their courses both in an online format and optimistically if we can do it face to face. That’s a lot of work for every individual faculty person,” he said.
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Three Stony Brook University Fraternities Suspended Amid Investigation Into Hazing And Sexual Misconduct
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Three fraternities at Stony Brook University are temporarily suspended pending an investigation into hazing and sexual misconduct, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday.
Stony Brook officials shared few details on the university’s website. But, the student newspaper reported the suspensions were prompted by social media posts by students and alums, who named names.
“There is this whole movement online of the students coming forward and talking about problems in Greek life,” said Niki Nassiri, a reporter for the Stony Brook Statesman.
Nassiri reported on the flood of personal stories of sexual assault.
“It’s almost like a new Me Too movement. A lot of students are fed up with the inaction by the university,” she said.
The movement is not only about Greek life or campus life. It’s calling for better accountability and education across social media.
Newfield High School in Selden, N.Y. has been the focus of hundreds of posts detailing stories of sex assault before, during and after high school.
Julia Cancilla started #SurvivingNewfield, which has been trending.
“It’s no means no. But, it’s also more than that. It means not pressuring somebody, it means not coercing somebody,” said Cancilla. “‘Boys will be boys,’ can no longer be the narrative.”
Hundreds of alums signed a letter asking the district and the state to teach students about consent in health class.
“This isn’t just one moment, this is a movement… This conversation needs to start in high school, not in college… Think about all these cases in Stony Brook that maybe could have been prevented if they knew about consent and they knew about their legal rights and all about this beforehand, in high school, instead of starting in college,” said Christian Rodriguez, a Newfield graduate.
District officials thanked them for, “bringing to light very serious and real challenges students face.”
Stony Brook officials said they, “strongly encourage students to report all allegations of sexual misconduct… it is difficult to sustain a case when individuals do not come forward.”
Students told CBS2 they want wider accountability from the university.
At least one of the suspended fraternities is commenting publicly.
In a post, Kappa Sigma said they stand with those coming forward with their stories, writing, “we hear you, we believe you, we stand with you.”