By Michelle Moreno Lira
This school year will be different for UC Davis students as they settle on campus and adjust to remote courses and on-campus guidelines. The university was greeted by a series of demands by students regarding uncertainty surrounding the school year despite their ongoing commendable efforts to create a safe environment for students.
Some of what the University is doing right is providing guidelines that are posted around campus as a reminder to constantly wash and sanitize their hands as well as their spaces. People are encouraged to stay home if they’re feeling any of the COVID-19 symptoms to ensure other campus goers are safe.
These guidelines were provided by Chancellor May and were sent as a mass email to students before the campus opened up completely. Although some parts of campus remained closed off during the beginning of the quarter, their resources are now online and fully remote.
While UC Davis opened up for the fall quarter, students took to their Instagram account to voice concerns regarding tuition rates and resources the school was providing for students. Many of these students demanded that tuition be lowered since online classes were taking place.
While I agree that charging the full tuition seems unfair, I believe it gives the school the opportunity to maintain student employees and faculty.
The university charged students ‘on-campus fees’ for summer sessions and fall quarter, and this sparked outrage among students who moved back home or were not returning to campus. However, the university is planning all they can to maintain student employees and faculty among dining halls, janitorial services, CoHo employees, gardeners, etc. It’s admirable to see the university support its employees and staff especially during these uncertain times and these efforts give a good reason why tuition rates are the same.
UC Davis may be online but there are many employees and students who depend on their jobs to make a living. If students demanded tuition to be lowered, perhaps employees would lose their jobs and these services would thereby shut down.
While there’s still uncertainty regarding the winter quarter, school officials have proven that they’re ready to take as many precautions necessary to ensure the safety of their students. They’ve proven that as long as services are running, they plan to maintain employees all around campus to ensure their jobs.
When COVID-19 began in late March, most of these people lost their jobs and were relying on the University to continue their paychecks. The reopening of campus ensures these people a stable paycheck despite classes being online and student presence dropping.
Thousands of education systems had to shift from in-person learning to hybrid learning; most of these guidelines were built because of the virus and were never done before. As students adapt to online classes, schools are learning how to maintain learning environments for students.
Many students also demanded that school officials talk to landlords in Davis apartment complexes so that students could break their leases. This unrealistic demand was rightly unmet since UC Davis has no direct control over students’ leases and should not be reprimanded for not doing the responsibility students should be fulfilling.
Student leases are individual and don’t concern the university, nor is it the university’s fault for the problems that are occurring in the world today. Following government guidelines, they have no control over the necessary decisions to decrease the amount of in-person classes and switch to remote learning. It’s understandable that the school remained quiet and took no action since they’re only responsible for on-campus living.
UC Davis has been impressively responsible for updating its students and informing them about courses for the remainder of the school year. Although students are upset regarding the timeliness of these updates, it’s unfair to demand information from the university since the government guidelines continue changing.
Mass emails are sent out to students every Friday to provide any new information or changes that may have been implemented that week, creating a forum of transparency that is necessary especially during these troubling times. Students’ constant complaints seem to revolve around the plans for the rest of the school year, yet most of the future is unknown.
The virus has proven to be uncertain and conditions keep changing, so it’s difficult to demand information from the university because decisions can be made too early or too late since news about the virus develops every day.
Many worry that campus is opening up too soon, yet the school is taking precautionary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.
It’s commendable that the school has maintained its faculty employed for the fall quarter and has kept students in the loop; they’re adjusting as much as students are.
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