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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

California State University remains virtual in spring

Hazmat+suit+and+an+air+purifying+respirator+are+seen+through+the+window+of+the+J.+Paul+Leonard+Library.+%28Dyanna+Calvario%2F+Golden+Gate+Xpress+%2F+San+Francisco%2C+CA.%2C+Aug.+25%2C+2020%29
Dyanna Calvario
Hazmat suit and an air purifying respirator are seen through the window of the J. Paul Leonard Library. (Dyanna Calvario/ Golden Gate Xpress / San Francisco, CA., Aug. 25, 2020)

The California State University will remain virtual for the 2020-21 academic year, according to  Chancellor Tim White’s announcement on Thursday. 

White said that despite the fact that the Fall 2020 semester began three weeks ago, the decision has to be in place now because of “compelling and compulsory administrative factors.” Universities must have time to create an academic schedule for January that will adjust to student demands, according to White.

Additionally, virtual courses must first be authorized by the CSU accrediting body, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which requires universities to have their Spring 2021 schedules in place. The U.S. Department of Education waived the requirement this fall, but campuses now need to turn in their plans in September and October in order to be recognized as an accredited university.

White also mentioned “seasonal dark clouds” that may cause spikes in COVID-19 cases, such as the Labor Day weekend and fire evacuations.

“We are testing the willingness of a fatigued populace to continue with physical distancing, hand washing and face coverings for the long term until a vaccine is available and can be administered at scale,” White said. 

SF State President Lynn Mahoney said that though this is a difficult decision, she’s grateful for the students and faculty who are diligently working to adjust to an online learning environment. She said she’s saddened to hear of the outbreaks in other CSU campuses like Chico State University and San Diego State University and how the institutions are responding to them.

“I’m very frustrated when I read in the newspaper that my colleagues across the country are blaming students,” Mahoney said. “If we bring students back to campus in large numbers, you will hang out together. I know you will.”

As much as Mahoney says she wishes to see students on campus again, she said virtual learning must continue to preserve the health of students, faculty and staff.

“Locking you in your rooms and having security guards at [resident] hall doors …  I won’t go there. That’s not an education,” Mahoney said. 

White considers this decision to be the “only responsible one available.” 

“Indeed, we have shown courage to do the right thing – even when it is unpopular,” White concluded in his statement.

In response to the announcement, Mahoney sent out an additional email to students, faculty and staff.

“While this decision is no doubt disappointing to many, it has been made with the goal of keeping our campus communities healthy and safe,” Mahoney said.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Wynkoop is a 3rd year online/print journalism student, political science nerd and big-time sushi lover. She's currently the managing editor of Golden Gate Xpress and a reporter at the SF Examiner. A textbook Gemini, Wynkoop's passion to learn and connect with others drives her to pursue all sorts of human-interest topics -- whether that's covering LGBTQ+ movements in the Castro, advocating for international students during an F-1 visa scare or documenting first-time freshmen experience college in a virtual world. Other interests include listening to live jazz, finding her inner zen in daily yoga practice and planning international trips with her family.

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California State University remains virtual in spring