Cheyney University faces mixed reaction on the first day back of in-person classes

Students, staff and faculty are back-to-school at Cheyney University as in-person classes are underway.

“Rembering to put the mask on every day, that’s something that nobody is used to,” remarked Nathan Pettus.

It isn’t how Nathan Pettus and James Ramsey, or any of the other incoming freshman, pictured their first year of college. A quiet campus, students masked up and heading into socially distanced classrooms at Cheyney.

“It’s very weird. Kind of nerve-wracking, but it’s just something that we have to go through. This is going to be the new norm,” Ramsey stated.

But, some argue it shouldn’t be.

Ahead of Monday’s first day of classes, which began two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, Ivan Turnipseed, Chair for the Cheyney University Faculty Senate, issued a statement saying the school’s faculty wanted to continue remotely learning, with no in-person instruction, even with the university’s strictly enforcing masks, social distancing and screening.

“It’s not enough, the reality is that it’s not necessary during a pandemic for faculty to have to be in an unsafe environment, especially when we were effectively trained to teach otherwise,” Turnipseed explained.

University officials say there were not enough faculty over the summer that got their certification to teach online in order to go fully virtual across campus for the fall semester.

But, Turnipseed argues that was the same case in the spring. But, the university trained them and they pulled it off.

“Since they wisely made sure everyone was trained to give remote instruction, why can’t we do that now?” Turnipseed questioned.

“Me personally, I wanted to go virtual. I thought it was the safer and better alternative,” junior Tyler Birts stated.

While some students agree the in-person classes are not necessary right now, other students say they wanted to come back. After day one of classes, so far, they feel safe.

“I did feel comfortable because we were so far away from each other,” junior Kavana Johnson said.

“My parents, they were very scared to send me back to school, but I told them I wanted to be here for my education because not everything is offered online,” junior Jailyn Henry added.


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