UCLA students to return to campus Monday – Daily News

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Students will return to campus at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Monday, Jan. 31, after spending the first four weeks of the new term in remote instruction due to this winter’s coronavirus surge.

Despite ongoing concerns by some students about returning to campus, a spokesman for the university said Friday, Jan. 28, the decision to resume in-person learning is based on current public health conditions, including “rapidly declining” cases and test-positivity rates on campus and across L.A. County, and the fact that many staff and students have received their mandatory vaccine booster shots.

“The decision also is based on our commitment to providing the full educational experience that draws our students to UCLA and an acknowledgement that with four of the last five quarters required to be taught remotely, there is significant benefit to having students return to in-person learning and co-curricular activities,” spokesman Bill Kisliuk wrote in an email.

Though transmission rates have started to drop back down, and L.A. County’s public health director said this week that the county had likely passed its peak in the surge, case rates remain high, and some students are still reluctant to return to campus.

Earlier this week, the Undergraduate Student Association Council’s Office of the President, along with the Disabled Student Union, urged students to participate in a walkout Monday if their professors refuse to allow for a hybrid option where those who wish to continue with remote learning can do so.

“The most recent campus-wide directive requires all students to return to in-person classes on January 31st, and only allows instructors the autonomy to choose whether they would take this personal risk,” the student groups wrote in a letter to the university’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force.

“The only meaningful way to provide for the safety of all Bruins is to prevent any classes from requiring in-person attendance by offering a continuous online learning modality,” the groups said.

Kisliuk said instructors have been asked to respond to students’ needs by broadcasting live lectures, recording courses or adjusting schedules for discussion sections and office hours, for example, while noting that such alternatives may not be appropriate for every course.

The university, he also noted, has increased resources through its Center for Accessible Education to find accommodations for students requesting them.

“We are deeply committed to educational equity,” he said.

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