Petition Over OU’s Back To School Plan Circulating Campus

Tuesday, July 7th 2020, 6:19 pm

A petition going around the OU community is asking the University of Oklahoma to adjust their fall "Safe and Resilient" reopening plan.

Two professors said while they are working for the university, they still have OU students of their own they have to worry about. 

For one parent and professor to two OU students, she sees the concern of having online classes.

"I am comfortable in the environment. I know my colleagues are becoming conformable in that environment. OU has put a ton of work and teaches us how to do this and how to give them a top education," said Kimberly Wieser in the English department.

As for Professor Michael Givel, he is over 65 years old and in a high-risk category.

Givel said his OU student is immunocompromised. He said he is terrified to return.

"When I come home...goodness forbid, I am infected and infect him too," Givel said.

He said that he is concerned about the two classes he teaches in-person.

"There are creative ways to ensure that students get their education, and everyone is safe," Givel said. 

Both professors are concerned about their health, their families' health, and the health of the high-risk groups that cannot always protect themselves.

After staff and faculty spoke out about their concerns, the university put out an email Tuesday letting professors know they might be able to change the way they are teaching.

Professors can write a request to their department chair on adjusting their teaching style, but requests will be prioritized based on a few factors. That includes whether the employee is -- or is related to someone considered high-risk for COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the university said students and staff are supposed to receive more information in the coming time.