A change.org petition released on Tuesday by members of the student government urged the Boston University administration to pass the Quarantine Learning Support Act, an act presented and advanced during the meeting on Monday.
Petition calls on the University to encourage faculty from all colleges and departments to register and post online courses for students who cannot attend classes due to COVID-19 and other illnesses, having a yellow badge and family and medical emergencies.
The petition currently has over 2,500 signatures.
Hessann Farooqi, BU Student Government’s executive vice president and a senior from the College of Arts and Sciences, said the petition to implement the quarantine apprenticeship support law was both proactive measurement and response to the increase in the number of cases.
“It is certainly a very urgent problem,” said Farooqi. âEspecially with some of the small spikes in COVID cases in early September. “
Several students said the University has yet to offer a systemic structure for students in quarantine or isolation to take missed classes.
Jennifer Ortiz Valverde, a sophomore student at the College of Fine Arts who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this semester, said there was no defined plan available after entering housing at isolation.
“There is not a uniform format,” she said. âThe teachers talk about it or just wait for the situation to happen. ”
Ortiz Valverde said the only accommodation available to him was the option to have another student drop off their textbooks. On top of that, she said, it was up to the professors to welcome the students individually.
Although 96% of the student body is fully vaccinated, 36 positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded on September 15.
In its petition, CAS StuGov pointed out that large optional mask events and often university-sponsored social gatherings increase the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
Ortiz Valverde added that she was fully vaccinated.
âIt was very shocking because apparently a lot of us were asymptomatic,â said Ortiz Valverde. “You feel this extreme disconnect between yourself and the learning environment.”
Farooqi said that based on the trend of COVID-19 cases to increase as temperatures cool, it is reasonable that an increasing number of students could be absent from class in the coming weeks.
âThe solution of just getting grades from a friend is not viable in all classes,â he said. “Especially when we have all this great technology infrastructure that we invested in last year, it makes sense that we continue to use it.”
Farooqi added that he understands why some professors might be reluctant to download all of their lecture recordings.
âA lot of the courses just aren’t designed in a way that people just watch them on tap,â Farooqi said. âWe all agree that a face-to-face conference, which people can actually attend, is always the best way to teach the subject. “
Dhruv Kapadia, executive vice president of CAS StuGov and sophomore student of CAS, said the Support for learning quarantine Taking action is not intended to require registration for all instructors.
âWe expect the administration to reform policy and encourage professors to register to quarantine students,â Kapadia said. “For many classes whose curriculum and curriculum haven’t changed, they can also tap into previous records that still exist.”
Farooqi said there are solutions for students to potentially benefit from having recorded classes available again.
âWe don’t want class attendance to drop arbitrarily, so there are a number of technological solutions to that,â Farooqi said. âZoom lectures are posted on Blackboard behind a password protected serviceâ¦ if people access them, they do so with their own Blackboard accounts, a professor could see exactly who is accessing them. “
Kapadia said BU StuGov plans to continue the discussion with administrators.
“We understand that at the end of the day we can pass as many things as we want in the Senate and we can send out as many polls and petitions,” he noted. “But at the end of the day, the power to change policy lies with the administration.”
The dean of the students’ office wrote in an email that they declined to comment at this time.