Two more campuses leap online, enacting Toggle Terms

As campuses head into fall term, more Toggle Terms are cropping up.

To explain: a Toggle Term is when a college or university switches between online and in-person education during a semester for COVID-19-related reasons.  Examples to date include: North Carolina State University, Notre Dame, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Our new examples:

Temple University has toggled from in-person to online.  They use different language, referring to “a two-week ‘pause’ for in-person classes.”  The reason: cases zoomed up from 58 to 103 in a few days.  All students:

coronavirus Temple 2020 Aug 31

There are some exceptions: “Only those classes designated as essential by the dean of a school or college will be held in person during this period and students in those classes will be notified directly by their school or college.”

State University of New York (SUNY) Oneonta switched from in-person to online instruction after a spate of infections and a collision with state policy:

After testing students on campus, the total number of positive cases rose to 105, about 3 percent, [Chancellor Jim] Malatras said.

100 cases is the minimum necessary to force a campus closure according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement made last week. On Thursday, he lowered the threshold for re-closing campuses from 9 percent to 5 percent or 100 cases, whichever is triggered first. Athletic activities and other extracurriculars must also be suspended, and dining hall options must move to take-out only.

The source seems to be students partying:

The primary source of the infection spread has been traced to a number of student parties in and around campus, state officials said. So far, five students and three campus organizations have been suspended for their involvement.

These cases are fairly similar.  Each campus planned on in-person education and brought folks on site, then infections rose.  Both schools are working closely with governmental authorities, city (Temple) or state (Oneonta).  One difference: SUNY blames students, while Temple seems not to.

That’s five Toggles so far.  Watch for more.

(thanks to Todd Bryant)

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