Campus, Coronavirus, News

BU community members say going remote post-Thanksgiving should be an option

Boston University professors said they would like the option to go completely remote for the remainder of the semester in anticipation of increased COVID-19 cases as students return from Thanksgiving break. SERENA YU/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Boston University students and faculty were split regarding whether in-person classes should continue after Thanksgiving break, but some faculty said they would like the option to move classes online. 

To do so, however, professors must go through an application process. 

BU spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in an email that while professors who are teaching in person have the opportunity to switch to a remote-only model, the process is more complicated than simply emailing students that classes will be moved online. 

Instructors must request a “workplace adjustment” to move classes online, according to the Back2BU website. Faculty members may request to teach remotely if they or a household member are older than 65, have a high-risk medical condition or are a part of a population that requires extra precautions — such as those with disabilities or who live in rural communities. 

The deadline to request a Spring 2021 workplace adjustment was Oct. 30, according to the website.

Some students, such as College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Neha Sachdeva, said it would be smart for classes to go remote following Thanksgiving break to limit the amount of interactions between people — like herself — who left campus and returned after break, and those who stayed.

“If [students who stayed on campus] like going to in-person classes, then they shouldn’t be punished by not being able to go anymore because of other people who went and came back,” Sachdeva said. “But also the risk of getting [COVID-19] is a lot higher.”

Sachdeva said professors should have the freedom to make decisions about whether or not their class should be taught online after the break.

“It’s their class,” Sachdeva said. “They know their students.”

Sachdeva said one of her professors has announced his class will move online after break because so few people have been attending in-person classes. 

Meanwhile, Anissa Martinez, a lecturer in the College of Communication, said her Design Strategy class will continue to meet in person after Thanksgiving break. 

“A lot of students, I’ve noticed, they want to be in-person,” Martinez said. “They want to come. They want to see other people. Even though they’re not talking to each other … they just want to be surrounded by people.”

Martinez said she trusts BU’s regulations to keep her and her students safe.

“I think BU is doing an amazing job, first of all, with the testing centers compared to other universities,” Martinez said. “And I think students are doing their best.”

Sophia Pinto, a sophomore in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, said she thinks in-person classes should continue. 

“If people are responsible and keep on following the rules, then we should be able to have in-person,” Pinto said. “That’s part of college.” 

However, Pinto added she believes instructors should “100 percent” have the opportunity to move classes online if they feel it is in their best interest. 

“It’s them that are most at risk,” Pinto said. “It’s them who have to do all the extra work if it does move online.”

Jasmine White, a sophomore in COM, is taking all her classes remotely as she studies from home in Chicago. While some of her classes have been taught in person during the semester, White said one of her professors has said he is considering switching to online lectures after Thanksgiving break. 

“I think it makes sense for this break,” White said, “since it is only like two weeks before the final period.”

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  1. what great insight. you’re a gem

  2. Interesting article.

  3. Thank you so much for writing such an awesome article! It really touches upon what students care about the most during the pandemic!