Breaking: UC Santa Cruz to shutter classes Due to coronavirus concerns, instruction will be conducted via alternative means

Voices staff report

UC Santa Cruz will suspend in-person classes starting Wednesday due to fears of the coronavirus, forcing students to continue their instruction online through the end of the term.

In a message from  Cynthia Larive, the UCSC chancellor, the measures will begin on Wednesday and will remain in place through the first week of the spring quarter, starting April 3. “Importantly, there are no confirmed cases on our campus at this time,” she wrote in a memorandum sent by email to instructors, staff and students. “(H)owever, we recently learned that a second case has been identified in Santa Cruz County and the number of cases in neighboring Santa Clara County continues to rise. As local, national, and global public health recommendations increasingly shift to efforts to mitigate transmission by social distancing, UC Santa Cruz is proactively taking steps to protect our campus community.”

To accommodate students, lecture course and seminars will be offered through “alternative modalities,” including online video programs like Zoom, while lab classes with meetings outside of classrooms “can continue to meet in person where necessary.” Winter quarter final exams will be conducted via alternate means and not in person, Larive said, and instructors will provide directions to students this week about those alternative plans.

Larive said all campus-sponsored events with plans for more than 50 attendees will be canceled or postponed through at least April 3. She is also encouraging planners of events expected to attract fewer than 50 people to find alternatives.

Meanwhile, she said the campus is not closing. “Campus buildings will remain open, and many campus operations, including student housing and dining, health services and research support operations, will continue to provide services, though some services may be modified as conditions change,” she said.

“While the campus will remain open, we encourage all students who are able to do so return to their permanent residence and continue their studies remotely through April 3. We know this is not possible for all students, however reducing the number of people on campus will increase the safety of all, and allow those who remain on campus to better practice social distancing.

“We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice may be challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation.”

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