SUNY Oneonta Faculty Petition To Be Allowed To Remain Out Of Class


SUNY Oneonta Faculty

Petition To Be Allowed

To Remain Out Of Class

ONEONTA – A petition signed by 75 SUNY Oneonta faculty members is issuing a “demand” that no faculty member be “mandated” to return to the classroom if the campus reopens on Feb. 1.

A waiver should be allowed “if the faculty member deems this to be unsafe, based on their own mental, emotional, and/or physical health, caregiving responsibilities, or other personal factors which may increase their risk,” said the petition

“To this end,” it continues, “Human Resources and/or the SUNY Oneonta Administration should not be making decisions, nor reviewing employee eligibility for in-person exemptions as employees should be trusted to determine their own health needs and risks.”

The petition, which was also signed by community members and alumni, has been circulating for the past few days in anticipation of the SUNY Oneonta administration’s detailed reopening plan, which is due to be released later today.


14 thoughts on “SUNY Oneonta Faculty Petition To Be Allowed To Remain Out Of Class


    Oneonta should be embarrassed that they are letting the faculty make the rules.
    Like all professional’s, if the faculty can’t do the job leave. Stop making the students suffer because they are being unprofessional.

  2. Doug

    The faculty are pretty much the only ones acting professionally here. The faculty are not the reason the campus had to be closed this fall. Don’t make the faculty suffer because the students and SUNY administration (who approved the ‘plan’ for Fall) have acted irresponsibly. SUNY found their scapegoat in Barbara Morris – I haven’t heard about any of those in the administration who OK’d the plan being sacked. And in the neighborhoods, the partying continues. It’s prudent to allow faculty to remain remote.

  3. Hope P

    What about student, who in good faith, became students at Oneonta. Do they have a choice? The school has their money and I would dare speculate they are not getting the education they signed up for. Are the profs still getting paid? If they decide that for emotional well being, or whatever reasons they expressed, they choose not to work, they need not get a pay check. Remote learning gives a minimal learning experience at best, and it certainly is not worth the thousands parents are paying. Covid affects everyone, but the students are getting the short end of the stick!

  4. Dale

    I understand why some individuals would not want to be in the classroom. However, in that situation, the class should take place at scheduled days/times with virtual live instruction as opposed to pre-recorded videos that students view at their own leisure. The asynchronous classes yield little to no student/teacher interaction.

  5. Jackie M

    For years, teachers have complained about being underpaid, but now they are being very clear that they are nonessential. Which one is it? You are needed and worth more money or you’re not. If a nurse, a McDonalds employee, airline pilot, etc refused to go to work, they would be replaced. Why are teachers being so coddled during this time? Step up, do your job, and show your worth.

  6. Disappointed Alumni Parents

    Honestly. the students are not getting the education that they deserve remotely. Being a teacher is a dedication and should be an essential worker. I have been teaching in my classroom
    In a hybrid program since September 2020 in a public New York school distrct.. My students who are compromised due to health conditions stay home and learn remotely. The others come in and have me in person. My husband and I are both essential workers during this entire pandemic. I am realizing sadly that the present facuty is not the dedicated professionals we once had at SUNY Oneonta. Figure out a plan that is fair to your students, they deserve it.

  7. Cathy

    Once the semester started a large number faculty informed the students that they were NOT going to hold online classes. Faculty has only posted assignments. Others have posted pre-recorded lectures. A few have held online classes 1x a week even though it was originally scheduled for 2x.
    Students are taking out loans to pay tuition and they are not even having classes.
    If faculty is getting paid they should be doing the job they were hired for.

  8. Pam

    Don’t blame the professors, blame our elected officials who failed to keep us safe from COVID-19. Besides, what if a student gets a professor sick? Not easy to replace someone with a PhD and years of expertise. Then no one will be available to teach the students!

  9. Elle O.

    As an SUCO parent, I was concerned about my child’s classes being online and whether if they were just as good. So I sat in the room with him for some of his classes. Honestly, my kid likes his classes with the pre-recorded lectures because he thinks it’s more flexible, he can watch them any time. Then he joins the live sessions for those classes. But in those live sessions, my son is the only one answering and asking questions to the prof, the rest of the class is basically silent. For his classes with live online lectures, it’s basically the same, he’s the only one talking with the prof, all the other students are silent. He said it’s pretty much like this back in the spring in his classes when they were still on campus, the other students barely talked, even when the prof is working hard to try to get the students to interact. So my son can go either way, but he likes that he can watch the lecture videos any time and then have time to ask the prof questions. I think it’s just how motivated your own child is, if they don’t take the effort to engage in the class, then what’s the point of even going to class?

  10. Read before responding

    Apparently many posters have not read the actual opening plan:
    1) SUCO will test students only biweekly, while twice a week is the norm and the latest recommendation to colleges and universities from CDC.
    2) It is currently testing weekly, with just about 200 on-campus students mandated to be tested regularly and some off-campus students tested voluntarily. 1-2 positives keep popping up even after most students went home. 6 students were reported as new positives this week, with no report of any student being isolated or quarantined on campus since the move-out completed. This means that these 6 were voluntarily testing off-campus students. The actual pool of infected off-campus student is much bigger and persisting since September.
    3) Events 2 hours or shorter are not included in SUCO’s contact tracing, therefore classroom exposures will not be made public. No class/school based quarantine will be enacted, unlike those you see in K-12 after a teacher, staff or student test positive. Student parties off campus will be blamed instead. Also college classes are longer with only 10-min breaks in between with total student and faculty switch-overs. No way they can be cleaned thoroughly by custodians while everyone maintaining social distancing.
    4) 10% of students who live within 15 miles from campus will be randomly selected to be tested on campus even if they do not use any campus facilities (totally online). If they do not come to campus for testing they will be reported to judicial office and be subject to sanction. Totally unfair to local students – Otego, Milford, Morris, Laurens, Hartwick, Franklin, Sidney Center, etc. are all within 15 miles.

  11. Sam

    SUNY Oneonta hasn’t proven that they can protect the students or the staff members during this pandemic. The fact that they were the only SUNY school that had to shut down within the first two weeks of the semester and have had over 700 positive cases on their campus proves it.

    Professors are hired to teach, they are not paid enough to risk their lives. Not to mention most, if not all of them, don’t like distance learning either. They are just trying to ensure their safety, and everyone is acting like they should either risk their lives when there is a safer option available, or be fired.

    It’s not like there’s a line out the door of professors ready to jump in on their jobs, and frankly if any students feels like they’re not getting the education they want then they should either go to another school that provides it, or better yet they shouldn’t try to attend college during a global pandemic. The select students who didn’t follow the health and safety guidelines last semester have created these concerns in the first place, and by the time anyone gets suspended for breaking those rules again in the Spring, the virus will have already started spreading.

    It’s about time that we recognize that educators should not be risking their lives for their profession, and stop normalizing the idea that they need to constantly sacrifice their own well-being. They’re not even asking that no one goes back, they’re asking that the ones who are most concerned for their health and safety have the option not to. That’s not at all unreasonable.

  12. Get your PhD if you can do it better.....

    For those of you commenting that teachers just need to do their jobs or quit, you clearly have no idea what this job requires and the toll it is taking on those doing this job right now. Most of us have zero desire to teach remotely. I’d wager that almost all of us want to be back in the classroom as remote learning requires 4x more work than in person teaching. We are not medical providers, nor are we “essential workers.” Education is a privilege, not an entitlement. I have been working over 60+ hours a week since the spring trying to provide the best education possible for my students at the expense of my own mental health and wellbeing. I didn’t cause the students to go out and act irresponsibly. They did this all by themselves, and they will do this again in the spring. Wake up. Also, I also have a health condition that puts me at high risk, and a loved one that is vulnerable. We are not being paid to not work, so stop with this b.s. already. If you think you can do it better, by all means go get your PhD and prove it.

  13. Helen

    I don’t really care whether students are getting what they “pay for”. I care about the fact that when they arrived in Oneonta this fall, they spread the ‘rona like crazy. That’s potentially a lot worse for them, and for everyone who LIVES in this city.

  14. Doug

    @HopeP: You wrote ” If…they choose not to work, they need not get a pay check.” Nobody has chosen not to work. Teaching remotely is, if anything, more challenging than teaching in person.

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