ASU takes pages from Trump playbook on campus re-opening

Arizona State University recently announced that some classes will take place in person this summer.

Meanwhile, the entire California State University system says it will remain online through the fall.

The move comes as President Donald Trump has begun urging schools to reopen by fall.

Arizona State University’s latest COVID-19 update includes language regarding a “small number” of in-person classes that will take place this summer.

In a university-wide announcement, provost Mark Searle told students and faculty of ASU that a “small number of courses in summer B session that do not lend themselves to remote instruction will be offered with in-person instruction on campus”.

However, ASU also requires that students attending in-person follow three provisions outlined in the announcement, including maintaining physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and health screenings before entering classrooms. The university plans to decide if face coverings will be mandatory by the time the summer “B session” begins July 1.

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ASU announced that the university plans to resume in-person classes for fall 2020 and is preparing to adopt “whatever safety measures and health protocols are necessary to keep students and employees safe.”

According to Searle, ASU hopes to learn from the few summer classes that are resuming in-person instruction to “better assess how best to accommodate students in the fall semester.”

All of this comes as President Donald Trump has been an outspoken proponent of reopening the nation’s schools by fall. 

“They should open the schools, absolutely,” Trump said Wednesday. “I was surprised by his answer., the president continued, referring to White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci’s more cautious statement on schools reopening. 

”To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools,” Trump said. 

ASU’s announcement was quickly followed by the California State University system’s decision to remain online for fall 2020. In a statement made by Chancellor Timothy White of the CSU system, the administration expressed concern about a “serious second wave of the pandemic” and concluded that “virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to travel safely to campus.”

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“The plan seems very comprehensive and well planned out. I appreciate the sentiment that the courses that can absolutely not be online will meet in person and in doing so, a pilot program of the sorts will be in play to determine how we will conduct classes next semester,” Cameron Decker, a student taking summer courses at Arizona State and Arizona Campus Correspondent told Campus Reform.

“At the same time, the University has made a commitment to ensuring our safety and well-being which is apparent given Searle’s summer session B plan,” Decker added.

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