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UArizona group petitions university to reconsider in-person class plans

(Facebook photo/University of Arizona)

PHOENIX — The afternoon after the University of Arizona announced details for ramping up in-person classes, a petition had gathered about 1,300 signatures asking the university to reconsider.

The Coalition for Academic Justice at the University of Arizona called for UArizona to work with more pandemic experts to look at data and projections, including the way the coronavirus has impacted minority communities, and ensure that adequate testing and hospital resources are available.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, almost 1,300 people signed as a UArizona student, faculty member, alum, community member or friend or family of someone with connections to the school.

The plan announced Thursday scheduled 5,000 students to begin fall semester on the Tucson campus and increase that number to 25,000-30,000 after Labor Day.

“This all depends on the public health conditions and whether students, faculty and staff follow good public health measures to minimize transmission of this virus,” school President Robert Robbins said during an online briefing.

No student would be required to attend an in-person class.

Classes are scheduled to start Aug. 24 with four formats offered: in-person, “flex” in-person (combining online and in-person), live online and “iCourses” students can complete online at their own pace.

The 25,000-30,000 maximum figure represents less than half the usual on-campus population.

The plan includes robust COVID-19 testing and tracing programs as well as enhanced cleaning protocols and a face mask mandate when social distancing is not possible both indoors and outdoors.

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