Uncertainty Surrounds UVU’s Fall 2020 Semester
By Austin Skousen, Senior Staff Reporter
The Review wants to hear from you in our anonymous survey about Utah Valley University’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, whether positive or negative. If you have a question that you would like answered by the university regarding this issue that isn’t on the uvu.info FAQs, we will compile a list of your questions and continue to attempt contact with school officials. We will continue our coverage of the fall 2020 in-person reintegration at UVU in a series.
OREM, UTAH — Utah Valley University announced that they are hosting in-person classes during the fall 2020 semester. The decision was announced after the University of Utah took the lead and several other Utah colleges followed suit. The news comes amid the decision of many universities, such as California State University (the nation’s largest), to remain remote-only for the remainder of 2020.
Questions about the transition at UVU from remote-only to in-person courses, as well as the hybrid option and health concerns, remain. Uncertainty has emerged as inquiries to the administration from the Review go to voicemails and campus doors remain locked.
UVU has a central website, uvu.info, for all updates and FAQs related to the coronavirus and school affairs, whether you’re a student, employee, or faculty member. A visit to the website reveals that the Student Life & Wellness Center will open on “June 8th with modified hours and services.”
The university will not be selling or otherwise providing free masks for students, but only for employees. Instead, students are directed to obtain a free mask from the State of Utah.
Strangely, the website says that, “at the yellow level, campus remains open.” However any average student’s walk around the outside of the campus will be met with mostly locked external doors, except for the Fulton Library. From inside the library, bridge access to both the Clarke Building and the Liberal Arts Building remain blocked. The Review managed to gain access to the rest of the campus through an unlocked door that we happened to find.
Inside the campus, most areas are dark and inaccessible. Of the employees that can be seen inside office areas like the Financial Aid Office, Human Resources, etc., access to them for questions is blocked by locked doors and signs that refer inquiries to email addresses and phone numbers. The UVU Bookstore is open and staffed, though bookshelves are empty.
The Review attempted to contact the Academic Affairs Office and Academic Continuity Office by phone during regular business hours, but was referred to the FAQ website and voicemails. Questions remain, such as:
- When will campus restaurants reopen?
- How will students know how to enroll in videoconferencing classes if those classes are not technically “online” or “in-person” on the registration website? What about students who have already enrolled?
- If a student of an in-person class gets flu-like symptoms, will they be allowed in their class? If not, will they be penalized attendance points in that class or will the professor be forced to accommodate their remote learning during their symptoms?
- When will NOORDA and sports events resume?
- What date will the external doors of the entire campus be unlocked for the student body?
This series will be continued.
Austin Skousen is a supply chain student at Utah Valley University and material handler in medical manufacturing who enjoys communication studies.