UNC to move classes online amid COVID-19 concerns

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University of Northern Colorado's Professor Carlos Leal Jr. died May 28 in Greeley after a long battle with cancer. Photo courtesy of unco.edu.

In an urgent message sent to the University of Northern Colorado Wednesday evening, President Andy Feinstein announced students will not be attending classes in person for two weeks following spring break due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

 In-person classes will be transitioned to online from March 23 to April 3. In the email sent to students and staff, Feinstein wrote that classes are presumed to resume normally on April 6. 

“We are investigating how to accommodate classroom activities that typically include laboratories, performances, or other in-person interactions, and specific guidance will follow,” Feinstein wrote. “UNC campuses will not close, and residence halls and dining will remain open.”

All university-affiliated travel deemed “non-essential” is cancelled, along with university-sponsored international travel. All student travel is considered non-essential. Staff travel is considered non-essential, unless not traveling will cause harm to UNC. Faculty travel is considered essential, only if, the preservation of the safety or results of a research subject or activity cannot be postponed.

Additionally, UNC cautioned students against any personal international travel during spring break because of the risk of contamination. 

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Students returning from high risk countries will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine off-campus. High risk countries are specified as a level two or three country by the Center for Disease Control. 

On Tuesday, Governor Jared Polis declared Colorado to be in a state of emergency due to the virus. The state of emergency will allow for the state government to speed up certain agency responses and allow for quicker access to funds to provide assistance.  

Following Feinstein’s announcement, the office of the Student Senate sent out an email to the student body with questions that have been posed to the professional staff on campus. 

These questions include: 

  • What is the university doing about student employment, especially those who are working hourly?
  • What is faculty doing to best support students who do not excel in an online setting?
  • What is disability support going to look like?
  • What does graduation look like?
  • How are we going to support students who do not have access to laptops/the internet?
  • What is the Student Health Center doing for students?

The dean of students page of the UNC website will include an FAQ with answers to these as well as more questions as they arise. If students have questions about the virus or what UNC will be doing in response, they can email [email protected]

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