CSU Bakersfield’s President Lynnette Zelezny held an open forum to give students an insight on what is to come for Summer and Fall 2020 on Thursday, May 20.
Both summer and fall semesters will be conducted through alternative delivery which will either be asynchronous or synchronous. A small minority of CSUB’s courses will be approved to hold split attendance; where students will be meeting in person for some of the course instruction.
CSUB administration is still waiting for documentation on what courses can be approved for the mode of instruction but courses that require labs or hands-on work will be first priority for this type of instruction.
Classes that do meet in person will be required to have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times and intensive sanitation will be required as well. PPE materials have been provided through CSUB’s CARES Act funding and will be distributed to the necessary students.
As for housing, the freshman residency requirement has been postponed to fall of 2021. Students that still want to live on campus in the upcoming semester are welcome to apply. Priority housing is as follows: students current living in housing, Guardian Scholars (former foster youth), students that live outside of a 30 miles radius from CSUB, Honor Students, Super Sophomores, Spirit Squad, Scholar athletes, then housing becomes a first-come first-serve basis. CSUB Housing is waiting for guidance on how to handle assigning roommates and is trying to keep housing cost constant going into the new academic year.
Orientation for new students has been reformatted to an online platform. There will be an online self-guided orientation and a second orientation held for incoming students that will be held via Zoom. New students will be welcomed by University Leadership and break out into sessions throughout orientation. New students will also be introduced to CSUB academics and advising. Students will still be receiving their Welcome kit that consists of Runner T-shirt and a meal voucher that can be used at a later date.
Student feedback on fees paid towards services such as the Student Recreation center have been recognized by CSUB Administration and have passed it on to the Chancellors office to be mediated. There is no guarantee that any student fees will be omitted for Fall 2020.
Chief Diversity Officer, Claudia Catota announced that CSUB’s Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance received a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice to hire a new staff member in contract with the Alliance Against Family Violence. The Equity, Inclusion and Compliance department also received a $25,000 grant for the retention of faculty of color that will go toward the faculty leadership program and the faculty affinity groups.
Zelezny addressed that there will be no alternative study spaces for students at CSUB at this current time and strongly encourages all students to stay away from campus for the time being. The Walter Stiern Library will be operational virtually.
The commencement ceremony for Spring 2020’s graduating class is still postponed and Zelezny, along with the Chancellor’s office are still waiting for guidance on when it is safe to hold mass gatherings, like a graduation ceremony.
Zelezny states that fall is expected to stay online for the entire semester even if restrictions are eased, as she wants to keep continuity with the semester. Students will be able to access services like the health center in the fall 2020 semester, but it will be majority virtual and Zelezny is still unsure if in person meetings will be allowed at this time.