President Junn Launches Weekly Friday Planning Forum

Photo courtesy of Communications and Public Affairs

On Thursday, April 1, Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn held her first Open Forum in a series of fall Friday forums scheduled to continue each Friday from 3:00 to 4:00. Topics in discussion include a variety of subjects crucial to the Stan State community.

Commencement Ceremony

President Junn answered questions based on what the commencement ceremony will look like for graduating seniors. There are three possibilities of how the ceremony will look, and the good news is that it’s up to students. The first is a completely virtual option, the second is a drive thru option, and third is an in-person option. The in-person ceremony will be held outdoors and will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for public gatherings. The guest size per student will be either two guests or three, the amount depending on how many students of the given college are in attendance.

All seniors keep an eye out for a survey that had gone out on the April 1 to assess how students prefer to graduate. Planning committees need student input as student satisfaction is top priority. The decision for commencement will be finalized on April 19.

Sports

Prior to COVID, sporting events went hand-in-hand with campus life, but due to the pandemic, students have had to sacrifice a great part of that campus life. With things slowly moving towards normal, we look to the future eagerly awaiting an announcement for a return to sporting events and a feeling of normal.

President Junn explained that we are still waiting on the “CCA presidents [who] have not met and are still waiting for guidance as well,” she added that “whether we will have CCA competitions in the fall is still an open question.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like sporting events will be returning in the fall, but any updates on the information will be shared with students on the fall 2021 planning page as soon as it is received by the school.

Student athletes will now begin phasing in voluntarily. They began this on March 22 and are following all the guidelines put into place by the county health officials. Testing will be conducted regularity and students will not be forced to return.

In-Person Classes

Whether or not students and faculty will be enduring another virtual semester is the question on the tip of every tongue in the CSU community. New information was divulged on Thursday regarding the in-person status.

Provost and VP of Academic Affairs Kimberly Greer explained, a focus will be placed on first year students along with juniors and seniors who need to complete in-person lab/studio sessions in order to graduate.

All CDC guidelines will be followed and the number of people per class will follow our tier status both in Stanislaus County and San Joaquin to accommodate both school campuses. At the moment we are in the red tier and hope to move into the orange or yellow tiers in a reasonable amount of time. As such, students will be required to wear a mask or approved face shield. This is a campus policy and is not subject to change based on any one class. Any student will be asked to leave class if without a mask, refusal of said student’s departure will result in the entire class session being cancelled.

Community

President Junn announced that there will be spaces made available for students to have a quiet study space, to be advised, or to take proctored tests.

Before COVID, students and faculty would meet for advising sessions in offices provided to faculty, but since the pandemic, those spaces are not large enough to follow safety practices. Provost Greer and other committees have been working tirelessly to find a solution. Provost Greer stated, “we will be looking for conference rooms and smaller classrooms that will not be utilized because they are too small [for classes]”.

Spaces set to be open include the newly revitalized Student Center and the newly revitalized Library which will act as “academic support spaces.” These spaces will act as much needed quiet spaces.

These committees will be discussing and working with multiple scenarios depending upon our tier status set by the county, so plans are subject to change depending on guidelines ultimately set by the county and the CDC.

Remember to keep an eye out on Friday afternoons for updates on the fall Planning reports.

Fill out as many surveys as you can, faculty and staff require input to meet the needs of this community.

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