Students Return Home for Remainder of Fall 2020 Semester

To limit the spread of COVID-19 after the holidays, Temple has decided to send all students home on November 20th. Now that students have been online for almost two semesters, some express how they’re beginning to like the online format. 

Graduate student Hannah Alexander told Temple Update, “I definitely miss the people and the environment of having classes in person, but it’s been really nice to watch my lectures back online and have that resource to me whenever I want.” 

Similarly, Temple Senior Jake Vance mentions that one major perk of online classes is not having to make a lot of time to get ready in the morning, and plan ahead for a long commute.

Though Temple University has already made plans to bring a small number of students back for the Spring 2021 semester, some are worried that it could be a repeat scenario of the Fall 2020 semester. 

“As of right now, I know my one capstone classes is in person, but it was in person this semester too, but I could definitely see them doing something similar like that again” said Senior Nick Phlogison.

Philadelphia has recently put in place stricter COVID-19 guidelines that are set to last until January first. However, Senior Ben Levin is skeptical that the guidlines will only last six weeks. 

“They’re definitely going to extend it, cause I feel like things aren’t going to get better, so I don’t even think Temple is going to have the option to bring people back” Levin said.

President Steve Newman of the Temple Association of University Professionals, or TAUP spoke to Temple Update about how more testing availability is a good thing, but it won’t stop the virus.

“You need contact tracing. What’s not clear to me yet, and I’m not saying it’s not there, but what’s not clear to me yet is do we have the numbers of well trained people we would need to stay on top of this, should there be an outbreak in the spring” Newman said.

Though the safety of students and faculty is the main priority for TAUP, Newman mentions that Temple should also be concerned about keeping the surrounding neighborhoods safe.

“Temple sits in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, and not everyone there has access to healthcare. One of the questions we really have is ‘What is Temple [administration] doing to make sure that we are doing right for our neighbors in North Philly?’ We respect our neighbors, and we want to make sure we don’t injure them” he said.

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