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OU community frustrated with unclear reopening plans after faculty senate town hall; many call for all-online classes

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Empty campus in front of the Oklahoma Memorial Union on the first day of online classes after Spring Break on March 23.

The OU community critiqued the university’s fall reopening plans after a Monday town hall in which President Joseph Harroz announced mandatory COVID-19 testing for on-campus housing, among other things.

The town hall, hosted by the OU Faculty Senate Executive Committee, was streamed live on Zoom. Read The Daily’s live coverage here

A student questioned the plan to move students that test positive for COVID-19 to isolation rooms at Traditions campus apartments, as announced in the town hall.

One student questioned the reliability of testing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Another student asked why the university won’t be testing off-campus students.

One community member said the town hall didn’t offer many concrete answers.

A parent said she was upset that she can’t help her child move in.

University campuses across the country have resorted to online classes after attempting to reopen in person.

Although OU hasn’t yet made the same decision, Harroz said in the town hall it also hasn’t ruled out a fully online semester. He also said there isn’t a specific trigger point for moving fully online, but administrators will continue to assess the situation. 

Many OU community members voiced their desire for classes to be online to help slow the spread of the virus, with accommodations made for employees and students who need to live and work on campus. 

Clare is a creative media production junior and a news reporter for The Daily.

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