North Texas Daily

Mandatory classes should have more online options

Mandatory classes should have more online options

Mandatory classes should have more online options
April 08
16:00 2021

Near the cusp of a fourth wave of the coronavirus, the U.S. is preparing for a return to normalcy. As UNT joins the world in recovering from the pandemic, we need to be careful not to further inadvertently spread the coronavirus and make the situation worse. In-person classes need to come back, but students need more flexible options for the upcoming fall 2021 semester. Understandably, many students may not feel comfortable returning to in-person learning so soon.

Many students have been displaced due to the pandemic and may not be able to return to campus. Other students may not be vaccinated due to an unwillingness to receive it or for a medical reason. Some may just want to ease back into in-person classes, but they should never feel forced to return to campus when they’re not ready. The world has been through a lot and it will take time for us to recover so it shouldn’t be rushed as this could cause more damage if we try to rush it. 

Currently, vaccines are being administered at an impressive rate of 3.05 million doses per day according to The New York Times. This is great news, but there is a looming threat of new variants of the coronavirus and their potential resistance to our vaccination efforts. Different variants of the virus have emerged from Brazil, California, South Africa and the U.K. The most worrying variation is called B.1.351 that was found in South Africa. 

Experts like Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have spoken about the dangerous new strain of coronavirus and how it could disrupt our lives once again. 

The danger of the new Covid variant isn’t that it’s more severe, but that it’s more contagious. If more people get infected, this will increase the burden on already-overwhelmed hospitals — and lead to more deaths,” Frieden tweeted

Registration for fall 2021 has recently opened and the lack of online classes for required courses is worrisome. It seems like students are being forced back on campus without considering the current state of the pandemic. Another thing to consider is how the coronavirus peaks during the fall and winter when it gets colder. Considering these factors, all required classes that can be taught online should have at least one option for students who can’t, or aren’t willing, to return to campus so soon. 

For example, accounting majors are required to take both ACCT 3110 and ACCT 3120, and there isn’t an option to take these courses online during the fall semester. Some journalism majors are required to take JOUR 3300, Introduction to Visual Communication for News, and there are no online options for the fall. Public relations majors need to take the class JOUR 3420 and they don’t have an online option either. Social work students are required to take the class SOWK 3000 and they’re left without online options as well. Mathematics majors are left without online options for required courses like MATH 2700 and MATH 3000. 

By eliminating the option to take required classes online, the university is basically forcing students back to in-person learning. It’s unfair to deprive students of viable options for continuing their education during a pandemic without directly putting themselves and others at risk. The university should consider the needs of all students and provide options to accommodate all situations.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Shelby Stevens

Shelby Stevens

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