'It's going to be bad': Temple University students, faculty protest in-person classes

ByRebeccah Hendrickson WPVI logo
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Temple University students, faculty protest on first day of in-person classes
Some Temple University students and staff protested on the first day of class.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temple University opened campus for its first day of fall semester classes on Monday, but not without protest from some students and faculty members.

The Temple Association of University Professionals gathered a group of students and staff to demand the Board of Trustees to switch to online classes only.

One student said based on what she saw over the weekend, with several off-campus parties, she does not feel safe.

Universities across the area have put a number of measures in place to minimize the potential for the spread of COVID-19.

"This last weekend was really honestly terrifying and we don't know what the rest of school year is going to look like, but if it's any predictor, it's going to be bad," said Teresa Swartley, a senior.

While the group was protesting for online classes, all online classes Monday morning at Temple had to be canceled, after the video conferencing platform Zoom experienced a nationwide outage.

Zoom said it resolved the issue, but not before schools and universities across the country had to cancel a slew of classes for the day.

A Temple spokesman said he's glad the university has an in-person option, otherwise no one would have had class this morning.

Temple University has unveiled a three-part testing plan for its students ahead of the fall semester.

Spokesman Ray Betzner says Temple has safety measures it developed with the city to make campus life safe. Only about a third of students are actually on campus, classrooms are spread out, and it has an entire residence hall that will be for students who need to quarantine.

"Every student who moves into our residence hall has to be tested. Those who come up positive have a choice, they can either move home for two weeks until it's all clear for them to come back, or we have housing for them here on campus they can take advantage of," said Betzner.

The university also has a COVID-19 count dashboard. As of Monday morning, it reported 10 students have tested positive for the virus.