During the California State University Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro reported that nearly 70% of students are currently enrolled in fully or partially in-person courses throughout the 23-campus system.
“The vibrancy is returning to campus life,” he said. “I’ve personally felt the electricity and the air on my own campus visits and I know several trustees have been doing their campus visits, in addition, to increase in-person instruction, and revitalize faculty and student research activities.”
More than a year ago, CSUs transitioned from in-person to online instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ease uncertainty, former CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White introduced the virtual plan on May 5, 2020, in order to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff from the spread of COVID-19, according to the CSU website.
“This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave occurred of the pandemic occurs,” White said in a 2020 Chancellor statement.
On July 27, the CSU system announced the COVID-19 vaccine would be required for students, staff and faculty members accessing on-campus resources.
CSU Chancellor Castro also highly encouraged the CSU campus community to get vaccinated in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and Delta variant viruses for the fall 2021 in-person semester.
“Receiving a COVID vaccine continues to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus,” he said in the statement. “We urge all members of CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible, announcing this requirement now allows members of the CSU community to receive multiple doses of a vaccine as we head into the beginning of the fall term.”
During the meeting, Castro also said that according to the 2021 data, “almost 427,000 students and more than 50,000 employees system-wide have certified that they are vaccinated.”
“That’s 95% of students attending in-person, campus activities and 96% of those who are working on campus,” he said. “Only about 4% of students and 3% of employees have requested religious exemptions to the requirement while another 1% of students and employees have requested a medical exemption.”
Due to the high vaccination rate turnout, the CSU Board of Trustees meeting briefly mentioned the spring 2022 semester even though there are no official plans set in place yet.
“Looking toward the spring term, it is too early to make any firmest estimates regarding the percentage of in-person classes and activities,” Castro said. “If we’ve learned anything over the last 22 months, it’s quite difficult to make bold predictions in the midst of a global pandemic.”