‘The risks are too high’: UNC-CH faculty sign petition to move classes online


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill are signing a petition in an attempt to move classes online for at least the next month as COVID-19 continues to surge.

The petition calls on Chancellor Kevin Guskiwcicz and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin to delay in-person classes until COVID-19 metrics improve.

As of noon Monday, around 200 members of the faculty and staff had signed on to the petition.

The petition says online classes aren’t “always optimal” but they can work.

“Clearly, we can move to remote classes for the next 4-6 weeks until the more transmissible Delta variant surge is brought under control,” the petition states.

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moved in last week with the school reporting 85 percent of students and 83 percent of faculty and staff being vaccinated.

The petition says UNC-CH’s plan for the fall semester doesn’t include an option for remote learning but calls for full classrooms with no physical distancing, near-full dorm rooms, football games with no masks and full to capacity dining halls.

“This is a formula for disaster,” it says.

On Friday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases for the second time in a week while the number of hospitalized patients once again reached a six-month high.

NCDHHS said 2,483 people were in hospitals with COVID-19 — the most since Feb. 6, and the 34th consecutive day with an increase.

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