The University of Florida has added a feature to its Gator Safe app that allows students to report professors that are teaching remotely instead of their scheduled in-person classes.
“If there are any inconsistencies with course delivery for your face-to-face or online courses, such as not being provided the opportunity to meet in person for your face-to-face class, you can use the Gator Safe app to report concerns,” a January 11 letter distributed to students by the UF said.
The message was sent when the school introduced the new reporting feature in its app. Students were advised to report professors who choose to teach online instead.
Many faculty members have requested that they teach online for spring out of concern for their health. However, some of these requests have been denied by the administration, which has cited the demand by students to make as many courses available in person as possible.
Prioritizing Students’ Needs?
UF Spokeswoman Hessy Fernandez told The Gainesville Sun in an email the administrators “have tremendous trust and confidence in our faculty and are grateful for the important work they have done throughout the pandemic.”
However, Fernandez added that the university’s first priority is to its students, who choose their preferred course delivery when they register.
“Thousands chose the face-to-face option. If students aren’t getting the course in that manner, they need a vehicle to report that … the Gator Safe app simply makes it easier for students to do so,” she explained.
‘Reporting Course Concerns’
A screenshot of the drop-down menu in-app that Professor Lisa Scott tweeted shows one of the options in the drop-down menu is “Instructor modified the class to virtual.”
“I don’t see an option for “instructor modified the class to in-person from virtual” I wonder why?” Scott said. She also questioned where the reports would go, what the process for investigating these reports is, and whether a faculty and graduate committee exists to review these claims.
Students can report instructors not in person via the gators safe app. 👀💩They added a button just for this purpose. I’m more than a little disturbed by this. @UF do better. We’ve been working our asses off for you through all of this. pic.twitter.com/IcVRAEZxX7
— Lisa S. Scott 🧠 (@lisascottbcd) January 11, 2021
Later, Scott updated the thread to show that the drop down menu was removed and the description edited.
“I’d still like the whole thing removed, but thank you to everyone who helped put pressure on the admin to make a change,” she tweeted.
Other netizens and alumni also expressed their disbelief at the UF over the report feature.
Students at the University of Florida are being encouraged to use a campus-crime app to report on faculty members who are supposed to be teaching face to face but aren’t.
🤦🏾♂️🤔🤦🏾♂️ it’s a WHOLE PANDEMIC and this is their top priority. https://t.co/FGR7wOjg1w
— 𝗗𝗮𝗩𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶’ 𝗗. 𝗛𝗮𝘆𝗻𝗲𝘀 (@DaVonti_) January 13, 2021