COVID policies lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding in the classroom | New

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As the pandemic comes and goes, UTC’s COVID-19 policies for classroom expectations have evolved with it.

The Director of Outreach and Student Support, Brett Fuchs, spoke about the changes that have occurred as a result of previous policies.

“Some of the issues that we’ve seen more than last year are that some of the professors were really lenient with people and the students took advantage of it, so they’re trying to balance that,” Fuchs said.

There was recently an issue in Dr. Dominique Bélanger’s organic chemistry class where a student was in quarantine for contracting COVID-19, and the professor did not make accommodations for the student to take a more exam. late. The exam was scheduled for the seventh day of quarantine, but, after taking a COVID test that showed a negative result, the student arrived to take the exam.

Bélanger reported the student to Student Conduct.

The student said she tried to contact Student Outreach and Support during her quarantine period for advice, but cited a lack of communication and direction.

“The university gave me little or no advice,” the student said. “I told them that I had tested positive and that I was in quarantine, and they gave me no instructions on when or what to do to come back.”

Fuchs ensured that there was communication between the university and the student at every step of the quarantine process. An email is sent to each student starting quarantine that lists information about the infected student, and the student is expected to receive daily text messages from the Student Outreach and Support Center or Contact Tracing Team. .

Information that is not included in the informational email is that “if you are in quarantine there are new CDC guidelines that say if you are tested after day 5 you can be released. the eighth day rather than the 10th day, “according to Fuchs.

Another area of ​​confusion for many students is the ever-changing COVID classroom policies.

Each professor is required to include the faculty approved by the Senate Declaration of COVID absence in their curricula, outlining the elected policies the faculty wished to adhere to regarding COVID absences this term.

The fall 2021 statement includes, “Students will not be penalized for issues related to COVID-19 unless they are unable to complete the course learning outcomes. Faculty will work reasonably with students to identify ways to meet course requirements.

The Bélanger program states that “NO MAKEUP EXAMINATIONS will be offered for any reason.

Additional information on student awareness and support can be found here. COVID-19 notification form is available here.


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