Virtual instruction to continue into spring 2021


Anneliese Esparza

Due to the ongoing pandemic, CSU campuses will continue with mainly online learning for the spring semester.

All 23 California State University campuses will continue with predominantly virtual instruction for the spring 2021 semester, according to the CSU chancellor — a decision that may make disappoint some.

After considering the ongoing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and consulting with all CSU presidents, Chancellor Timothy P. White said beginning next semester with online instruction and reduced campus housing would be best for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

“I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing,” said White in an email to the CSU community on Sept. 10.

The chancellor said this decision is necessary now because of the need to finalize plans for the spring term. Each CSU campus must determine how many and what type of courses to offer for students prior to registration for the next semester. Spring registration at CSUSM begins Nov. 16. 

“Starting in a few weeks, campuses publish course offerings for the new year, students make their course selections and campuses make appropriate adjustments to their course inventories to meet student demand,” White said.

With the return of students going back to school, there are increasing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses across the country. 

White acknowledged that it isn’t safe for the approximately 484,300 students within the CSU system to attend in person classes on campus without a vaccine.

“Another important aspect of the rationale for this decision comes from analyzing the facts about the pandemic itself,” wrote White. “We know far more about it now than we did back in May. The virus continues to spread. There is no vaccine and there likely will not be one widely available any time soon.”

Some CSU campuses have seen an increased number of infected students.

San Diego State University, one of the 23 CSU campuses, has reported more than 500 cases since the beginning of the fall semester.

CSUSM has reported seven confirmed active cases of COVID-19 as of Sept. 11. All seven of the active cases, six students and one employee, are on campus.

The chancellor is concerned about a second wave of the virus. 

“A larger wave continues to be forecast for the period between October and December, coupled with seasonal influenza; this will undoubtedly be a daunting challenge for us,” said White. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time.”

Not all students are happy about the announcement. 

“I am not a fan of classes being online. It is a hard struggle for me. In class, I struggled but being there helped me focus more than a computer screen,” said Roxanne Alamir, a senior communication major, “although, not having to commute is a nice change.”