Clark Atlanta University returns to all virtual classes amid COVID surge

"Oversubscribed classes as well as overcrowded classrooms” is contributing to the surge on campus, according to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. G. Dale Wesso

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HBCU Clark Atlanta University is returning to all virtual classes due to a surge of coronavirus cases on the historic campus. 

A letter written by the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. G. Dale Wesson, said that “oversubscribed classes as well as overcrowded classrooms” is contributing to the surge on campus. 

According to 11 Alive News, a copy of the letter read in part, “In order for us to ensure that we have resolved and put into place all safety protocols, we will continue delivering your academic instruction remotely and virtually. Once we have all of these things resolved, we will resume in-person classes.”

A view of the billboard truck at Clark Atlanta University for #ALLINFORVOTING Get Out The Vote Billboard Campaign on October 31, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ALL IN: The Fight for Democracy )

Dr. Wesson wrote, “It is also vital that everyone is fully vaccinated, wear masks inside the buildings and outside, and adheres to the six-foot physical distancing policy. Also, you must continue being tested per the guidelines of the University’s policies and procedures. Your health, safety, and overall well-being are our number 1 priority.”

The university is adding additional custodial staffing, electrostatic disinfecting devices, more sanitizing stations, and more disinfection of high-touch areas, like elevators. 

CAU President Dr. George T. French released a video alongside Autymn Epps, the SGA undergraduate president. In the video, they note that classes will remain online at least through Friday, Sept. 17 until sanitization measures and social distancing can be shown as effective. 

Last week, Dr. French announced that the school would have a modified version of homecoming featuring a mix of in-person and virtual events amid the ongoing pandemic. 

(Adobe Stock)

The annual football game will be played, but tailgating events have been canceled. Similar to both Spelman College and Morehouse College, CAU will hold a student-only one-day festival on Sunday, Oct. 24. Events for alumni will be held virtually. 

Students have expressed their frustration with the return to online learning. Student Armani Harris told 11 Alive, “I am upset about it because I just got in the groove of going to classes, seeing my teachers, seeing other people, not on a computer screen,” she said. “We can’t go to class anymore, our homecoming is taken away, now we have a mask mandate everywhere we go.”

Clark Atlanta University is an HBCU that was formed in 1988 by the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University, which were both founded in the late 1800s.

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