UTEP prepares in case of shift in class operations amid coronavirus outbreak

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) said in an e-mail that university leaders are planning in the event of having to change operations due to Coronavirus.

Over the past few days, a growing number of colleges and universities across the country have announced classroom closures with some considering online classes for the remainder of the semester.

According to the e-mail, UTEP will not be changing schedules or shifting to online courses at this time.

UTEP is making an effort to keep students and faculty in the loop by sending updates on the coronavirus and what it could mean for the future of the University in regards to classes.

“They’re sending out e-mails like every day about updates with it,” Stefany Medrano, a UTEP student said. “All the professors are talking about it, yeah, we don’t know what’s going to really happen.”

Although there is no indication that UTEP will turn to online classes yet, students believe that the University should remove in-person classes and shift toward online courses.

“I think they should.” Ian Lee, a UTEP student said. “Obviously it would be a good idea to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Some students are concerned that after Spring Break, next week, they run the risk of contracting the virus due to all the traveling that could be done by other students during this time.

“I’m not necessarily scared, I’m more, just concerned about it spreading,” Kimberly Aguilar, a UTEP student said. “Especially in El Paso since it hasn’t spread yet, here, but there is a good possibility that it could.”

Just like many other institutions, UTEP is taking precautionary measures to ensure that students remain healthy and able to complete the semester without disrupting the educational progress of students.

UTEP says in the meantime they are making sure all faculty are well prepared to do online education if needed.

However, this has raised a concern for many students.

Medrano believes that online may not be an effective measure since many students do not have access to the internet, computers, or other equipment necessary for learning.

“There is kind of a group of students that wouldn’t be able to access those important things, like internet and wifi,” Medrano said. “That’s the only reason why I would really be against online courses right now.”

The University urges all faculty and students to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and staying home if feeling sick.

For more information on the coronavirus and updates about any future plans at UTEP, visit their website.

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