Due to the sharp spike in local COVID-19 cases following the holidays, universities and colleges around the city have announced the move to online curriculum or delayed the beginning of the spring semester altogether.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio now remains the last university in the city to begin the spring semester in-person, as scheduled, on Jan. 10 — a decision that mirrors the Texas A&M University System’s current plans.
However, the university plans to “help keep the campus community safe” by providing rapid tests and N95 masks, according to a Facebook post released by the university on Jan 7.
The Mesquite reached out to the Office of the President for comment on this issue on Jan. 6 but was forwarded to the Office of Marketing & Communications.
Marcom didn’t respond to calls but forwarded a new statement to faculty on Jan. 7.
“Faculty are encouraged to be as flexible as possible with your students if they fall ill this spring, whether with COVID or other serious illness.”
In its latest email to faculty members, the Office of Academic Affairs thanked faculty for continuing to provide “an excellent educational experience within the pandemic environment.”
The email says that instructors would now be allowed to conduct class online should they fall ill or be asked to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.
Despite the city reporting a daily average of more than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 7, no further update has been provided by the university.
All campuses within the Texas A&M University System plan to conduct the new semester as scheduled.
However, the instructors at Texas A&M University-Commerce have the option to teach virtually the first week (Jan. 12-14), and Texas A&M University-Kingsville will require COVID-19 tests for all returning students, faculty and staff.
The Mesquite will address mounting student and faculty concerns in an upcoming story.