The Student Government Association passed a resolution Tuesday night to support having in-person classes next semester.
SGA’s resolution, which passed with 54% of the vote, encourages faculty to hold classes either entirely in person and, when necessary, entirely online, eliminating hybrid learning completely.
The goal of this resolution is to change the TCU class search to clarify whether a class will be only online or in-person, giving students the opportunity to choose if they would like to partake in completely online classes or completely in-person classes or a mix of both.
According to a recent survey from the TCU Office of Quality Enhancement, 72% of students reported 80% or more of their classes are fully online. And when they were asked to evaluate their online class experience, 72.5% said it was either very poor, poor or fair.
The survey from the TCU Office of Quality Enhancement.
Liliana Ogden, the SGA vice president, mentioned that there have been no cases of COVID-19 contracted in classrooms.
“We want to give students the education they pay for but not only want,” Ogden said.
Provost Teresa Dahlberg asked faculty in a Sept. 24 email to consider teaching classes in-person. The deadline for instructors to choose their course preferences and teaching modalities was Sept. 25, but Dahlberg wrote that they can easily change their teaching modalities until Oct. 6.
“They [students] are also starved for in-person engagement. I feel this way also,” Dahlberg wrote.
According to the survey, two-thirds of respondents said they were at least “moderately concerned” TCU would make the transition to distance learning.
SGA Chief of Staff Jack Leonhard said SGA needs to advocate for students’ mental health and educational quality.
“Someone needs to stand up for students,” Leonhard said. “The faculty and staff have their own advocacy groups who are advocating for their interests.”
Over 75% of undergraduate students who responded to the survey said they had experienced a “noticeable increase in anxiety” due to COVID-19 since classes began, and more than half said they experienced an increase in depression.
SGA President Paige Shiring plans to present and discuss the next steps with the Faculty Senate at their meeting Thursday.