An uptick in COVID-19 cases on the UR Dashboard has led some students to plan to leave campus early, before the official end of in-person classes on Friday, however, students wishing to study remotely before in-person classes end need to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, according to the University of Richmond's COVID-19 FAQ.
Those who wish to learn remotely must seek approval from their respective deans, Dean of Westhampton College Mia Reinoso Genoni wrote in an email on Nov. 18.
This policy has caused some worry among students planning to leave campus amid rising cases on campus before the third wave.
Full-time remote learning will work the same way it has throughout the fall semester, Genoni wrote.
“Students have many reasons why they wish to study remotely, which is why we made a remote study available to students as a choice,” Genoni wrote.
Currently, no departments have gone fully remote, Genoni wrote.
Sophomore Emma Cannon planned to return home early for extenuating family circumstances but had heard rumors that students must show symptoms of COVID-19 to be granted that request, she said.
“When the cases rose, I emailed the dean asking if the rumors were true because I didn’t want to do something that could get me in trouble," Cannon said. "She then called me and told me that it was true: students had to go to class in person.”
Cannon is at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, which, alongside rising case numbers and other extenuating circumstances, she said.
Some professors, such as Don Forsyth, disagree with UR’s policy requiring students to have symptoms in order to go remote.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it seems prudent to allow students to shift to online learning if that is their preference,” Forsyth wrote in an email to The Collegian on Nov.17.
Forsyth had adapted his classes to fit the remote-learning environment to his satisfaction, he said.
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Some professors did not adapt their courses to accommodate remote learners, which Junior Noah Goldberg said was the case with his Microeconomics course. Goldberg, who is studying remotely from Massachusetts this semester, said he had emailed professor Floyd Duncan a week before classes started for the Zoom link to the course and had not heard back yet. Goldberg said he had been enrolled in Microeconomics for a week before he dropped the course.
“I waited, did the homework anyways, and got ready for the second class that first week,” Goldberg said. “I still hadn’t heard back from Duncan, so I emailed him again after the second class. It wasn’t until later that weekend, nearly a full week since my first original email, did he tell me it was not available online.”
The same remote studying rules will remain in effect during the spring semester, arts and sciences dean Patrice Rankine wrote in an email.
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