Parents of Clemson University students have started an online petition requesting a return to in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, WYFF News 4 reported.
Clemson has transitioned most classes to remote learning but parents feel their children are not getting “comprehensive” instruction, according to WYFF. They also complained that the safety constraints have a negative effect on their childrens’ mental health and social wellbeing.
These concerns prompted the parents to issue an online petition requesting the university conduct “50% of classes in-person, 100% in-person labs” for the spring semester and open social clubs and extracurricular organizations, WYFF said.
They further sought to have parent and student representation on the COVID-19 advisory board and provide a “proportionate refund” to parents if these requests are not met.
Parents reacted after registration for the spring semester showed that classes are either mostly or fully online. Parents say that this method is not sufficient. Concerned Clemson University parent Kim Baldus stated her belief that remote learning materials are not enough, so this year will be “a waste of time” since students will not be adequately equipped for next year.
Clemson University communications representative Joe Galbraith issued a statement saying the university understands parents’ concerns but explained that safety is the most important aspect of the college experience.
“We are working constantly to ensure that we have a safe environment for our students,” he told WYFF. However, the school is aware that the in-person aspect of college matters as well. Thus, school officials are working to provide a more “complete” college experience.
Galbraith also pointed out that Clemson has added 30 percent more in-person classes for the spring semester, but the distribution of these classes depends on a number of factors such as a students’ year, major, and required credits.