Cal State Fullerton is still anticipating a primarily in-person fall 2021 semester, according to an email sent out by university President Fram Virjee on March 15.
Virjee said that CSUF is hopeful that next semester will be almost all in-person instruction, including student services and student housing.
With vaccine distribution happening all over Orange County, Virjee said that the transition would only happen if students, faculty and staff have had access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We will only execute our plans for a fall return if and when all Titans who choose to receive the vaccine have had equitable access to it, and public health guidelines and CSU policy support the transition,” Virjee said.
In February, the university said that vaccination would not be required to return to campus, and that it was already taking preliminary steps to accommodate for in-person instruction.
Although CSUF urged students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated, Virjee said it would still not be required, but if vaccinations throughout the campus community did not reach a certain goal, the university would have to rethink its plan for the fall.
“Students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working,” Virjee said.
In an email to the Daily Titan, Ellen Treanor, the associate vice president for strategic communications, said the university is optimistic about offering 60% to 70% of classes in person, but has not decided on how the university will track COVID-19 testing on campus.
Treanor said that the university wants to first ensure the campus community’s privacy, while also protecting them from exposure.
“We have not worked out the best way to keep track of testing. Our sister campuses in the CSU have various programs, and we are working with vendors and the Orange County Health Department for the best system,” Treanor said.
Treanor said the university has also issued letters to all faculty and staff to verify that they work in the education sector in order to allow them to get vaccinated.
In another email, the Dean of Students Office specified that the university has created different choices for students when signing up for classes in the fall. The fall 2021 schedule goes live on March 22, and registration opens April 9.
Classes will appear as Web-Of for fully online instruction, Web-Oh for hybrid instruction and Web-Oc for online with required course meetings when students begin to register through the portal.
“Our plan to provide you with a substantial in-person learning experience in the fall assumes, of course, that vaccines are available,” the email said. “We expect that by May or June, all adults who desire the vaccine will have access.”
The email said that individuals who cannot or choose not to attend an in-person class will be accommodated to the extent possible.
Treanor said that the university’s first priority is to determine class availability and student services such as resource centers, study spaces, food options, health and recreation spaces will be decided upon the number of those able to return.
“Some fear a fourth wave of infections and we see what is happening in Italy with great concern, but the picture in the U.S. is much stronger,” Treanor said. “We are a public school and must adhere to state guidelines. Guidelines are changing as case counts drop and the effect of the vaccine allows for the relaxation of some of the most strict rules.”