Students will return to Temple University August 24 for the start of the fall semester but the reality many students face won’t be a professor in a classroom, but instead a computer screen.
The university said a statement, “In order to follow proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health department guidelines, Temple is working to ensure proper physical distancing can take place on campus during the fall semester.” Therefore, Temple has reduced classroom capacity from more than 15,600 seats to about 3,300.
The university’s July 15 announcement to move many classes online or to hybrid formats has students like rising senior Hafeezat Bishi questioning the decision to bring students back at all.
“It’s just a matter of safety. I understand we want to, you know, try to mimic a normal situation. But this is not a normal situation,” the communication and social influence major said.
Temple also announced tuition will be frozen for the 2020-2021 academic year and not reduced, which has rising sophomore Tori Ruth frustrated.
“I feel like it’s a little unfair if we’re paying the same price even if it’s not more,” Ruth said.
Bishi added Temple should realize online courses are not comparable to those held in-person tuition should be adjusted for the change in learning style.
“I feel as if tuition and fees pay for the in-person on-campus experience. They’re not paying for an online experience,” Bishi said.
Temple’s Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ken Kaiser defended the university’s position of keeping tuition the same saying, “Even when many classes are online, the university still needs to account for the same fixed costs that come with being a campus-based institution, such as building security, utilities and maintenance, as well as paying staff who are either on-campus or working remotely.”
Rising junior Rhea D’lima understands the financial responsibilities of the university but many students are paying out-of-state tuition while having class online, which she says needs to change.
“I know a lot of people coming from New Jersey. They’re paying like double tuition to take courses from their bedroom. That’s just not right,” D’lima said
Kaiser also addressed Temple’s decision to institute a tuition freeze saying, “By doing that, we’re going to save our students more than $15 million.”
Temple is converting buildings like the Charles Library and Paley building into socially distanced classrooms. According to the university, the conversion of the Paley building is costing Temple $3.4 million.
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