Valdosta State students petition online classes

By: Amber Spradley | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 23, 2020

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Classes at Valdosta State University are set to resume March 30 online for the rest of the semester, but nearly 3,000 students are petitioning to receive a free pass instead.

Following guidance from the University System of Georgia, classes at VSU were suspended for two weeks starting March 16.

Graduation has been canceled, and students living on campus have been ordered to move out of their dorms.

Now, all coursework remaining will take place online, and the university is facing major backlash.

VSU student Kya Thomas took to social media, creating an online petition Sunday. It was signed by more than 2,600 students Monday.

She claims, "All students do not understand work/content given in class, so online classes will not make things better. It is not fair that we are punished with online classes when that is not what we signed up for in the first place."

Other students say they're concerned about how their hands-on classes will translate online, how they'll manage without the resources they rely on at the campus and what it's going to take to learn through a screen.

Vice President of Student Success Dr. Rodney Carr says he and his team are making every effort to ensure student success.

"We have an entire university that is committed to our students," he said. "And we all know that this is gonna be a hard transition to make, and it's a little scary for a lot of folks. But we're gonna be working diligently each and every day as long as we have to make sure that it's gonna be successful for our students."

He says 259 personal academic coaches have been assigned to about 20 to 25 students each to help them through the end of the semester.

Following CDC guidelines for social distancing, Odum Library and the Academic Support Center will both remain open.

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