ECU, just like many other colleges have decided to reopen this fall. Most of what seems to be mandatory is maintaining social distancing protocols and wearing a mask. How can you expect this to be reality without being afraid of losing a large population of students to the illness in clusters. Colleges should consider offering only online classes again this fall to get away from this risk for the semester. They were quick to close in the spring when cases started showing up, but have relaxed into what society has deemed important, the economy.
I also don't think they have strongly considered the issue of requiring everyone to wear a mask in a lecture hall. There are people with disabilities that may not be able to hear or see what the professor is teaching. There haven't been clear instructions on how they plan to deal with that. I definitely think it is important to wear a mask around other people, but there has to be exceptions made. It's not fair to expect those students to sit in a class and not be able to gather the needed information to understand the material, as a professor expects.
Being located in North Carolina, our governor hasn't spoken yet on what they've decided to do for K-12 schools. I can't say for sure what the right thing to do is, but I hope they'll make the best decision for those families. All online doesn't seem plausible for many households, and there needs to be exceptions made for students without the option.
One thing is for sure though, everyone needs time to plan out alternate learning ideas for the fall semester. Professors weren't given enough time to successfully convert in-class lectures to an online platform before. Based on my experience at a community college in the past, online can be offered for every class. Professors just need time to figure out how to work out the kinks.
Overall, there seems to be such a gray area in the decision to reopen. If we think about the health of our faculty and students, other measures should be considered.
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