BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Change.org petition has been started asking CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny to move classes online in response the the coronavirus pandemic. The petition currently has over 1,400 signatures.
According to the petition, they are asking the president and administration to take into account the risks to student safety.
CSU Bakersfield has recently taken some actions in order to combat any risks to exposure to the pandemic, such as changes in food distribution and the cancellation of events, but that is not enough to prevent a virus that can impact not only students, but faculty and staff. In a memo from President Zelezny, she states that there is no immediate threat to the campus according to officials. Although there may be no "clear" threat, the virus is extremely contagious and can be an inconvenience or tragedy to those who contract it, especially at a highly populated area such as CSU Bakersfield.
Other universities have closed and have resorted to online teaching in order to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Most area universities' are soon to go to spring break, meaning many people from around California and the United States to return home to the Bakersfield/Kern county area, creating possible risks.
We are asking the President, and admin to take in count the risks, present or not for the safety of all students and faculty and transition to an alternative way of educating for the time being especially at this serious and delicate time in the United States and California.
The university has not responded to the petition at this time. Previously, Interim Provost Dr. Vernon Harper issued the following statement:
Collectively, we should ensure that we are still able to provide our students with their education. After consultation with the Academic Senate, Faculty, CFA Representative, and the Academic Deans, I am providing some initial guidelines as we move forward in planning. I also want you to know that we are working diligently to offer additional guidance and support.