Upcoming information and changes regarding Fall 2020 semester

Ace Harrison, Multimedia Editor

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the campus has remained closed since March, while classes resumed online. As the Spring 2020 semester ended, and the amount of United States coronavirus cases continued to rise, plans for the upcoming semester have been in the works.  

On July 22, CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny released upcoming plans regarding the fall 2020 semester. Classes will be provided through an alternative delivery, with a limited number of in-person classes. Only approximately 1,040 students, faculty, and staff will occupy the upcoming semester which is 8.3 percent of the fall 2019 population.  

Going forward, the campus will be following recommendations from the Kern County Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. Faculty, staff and students will be required to complete training in COVID-19 safety protocols, while heightened cleaning and safety protocols will also be implemented. 

Students have raised questions over whether tuition would be impacted by the campus’ switch to virtual instruction. On July 23, those questions were answered when Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Thom Davis, released a campus-wide email regarding upcoming tuition and fees for the Fall 2020 semester.  

“We have reviewed the fee schedule for fall 2020 and have determined that the all scheduled fees remain warranted,” Davis wrote in the email. “Because instruction and related expenses are continuing, it is not possible to reduce tuition…Reducing tuition and mandatory campus fees in the midst of the economic impacts of this pandemic would necessarily lead to increased employee layoffs, and would adversely affect course availability, academic programs, and time to graduation.” 

After this announcement, the Runner asked in a poll on our Instagram what were students’ thoughts about the upcoming switch to mostly virtual instruction, and the unchanged tuition and fees.  

CSUB student Lynna Ha responded, “I’m just wondering why I’m paying SRC fees if I can’t physically use the SRC.”  

“I think that the fact [that] tuition isn’t being reduced is kinda ridiculous,” wrote Emily. Some students reminisced about how they will miss being on campus. Yesenia, current CSUB senior answered, “I liked when it was my choice. Now it makes me sad, I’ll miss sitting in the library.” 

Davis concluded the message by strongly encouraging students to contact the Financial Aid Office to explore whether they may qualify for any available need, or performance-based grant or aid.  

A new website – csub.edu./returntocampus/fall2020 – was created to provide additional information. Any additional questions or concerns regarding the fall semester can be sent to [email protected].