Classes are set to begin Wednesday at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, but some staff members aren’t ready for that. Hundreds of UNC Chapel Hill faculty members have signed a petition to delay in-person classes due to coronavirus concerns. The petition asks for in-person classes to be delayed at least one month as a result of the surge in the Delta variant and the overall increase of reported cases. Currently, more than 2,650 people are hospitalized with covid and more than 15,000 cases were reported over the weekend.

Like other schools in the UNC System, students who are not vaccinated must complete weekly tests. As of today according to an article by WRAL, 86% of students and 78% of faculty have self-reported that they are vaccinated. However, faculty has concerns over the lack of plans for remote classes and the limited distancing in classes and on-campus housing.

“The current plan for UNC, which includes no ‘off-ramp’ for remote learning – unlike last fall – and no vaccine mandate, is for regular classrooms with no physical distancing, near-full dorms, football games with no masks and full-to-capacity dining halls. This is a formula for disaster,” states the faculty petition. “We need a block of time to get this situation under control.” Per the WRAL article.

Last year, after beginning in-person learning a surge in coronavirus infections during the first week of classes led to the end of in-person undergraduate classes. As a result, most students were required to leave campus. As of the time of publishing more than 350 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty have signed the petition. They are demanding remote classes for the first four to six weeks of the fall semester. Last week Kevin Guskiewicz said there is no plan to delay in-person learning but “necessary precautions” will be taken.

Recently one UNC Professor came out with concerns over students getting fake vaccination cards to get out of weekly testing. Do you agree with the UNC Faculty who signed the petition to delay classes? Or do you believe they should continue as scheduled?

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