Author Topic: University Challenged  (Read 58506 times)

pancreas

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #810 on: September 17, 2021, 01:04:40 AM »
I absolutely cannot see the point in masks when the cunts will be cheek-by-jowl filling a 300 seat lecture hall to the brim and spitting down each other's fuckholes every goddamn night.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #811 on: September 17, 2021, 02:37:46 AM »
…and that’s just at pancreas’ flat !!

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #812 on: September 17, 2021, 12:46:36 PM »
Welcome Week at my university coming up next week.

Everybody ready?

LOL. Yeah. Sure.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #813 on: September 17, 2021, 12:49:57 PM »
Quote
all of the multi-layer security log-ins we now have

SNAP!

Except we're introducing those MIDWAY through term.

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #814 on: September 17, 2021, 02:59:36 PM »
SNAP!

Except we're introducing those MIDWAY through term.

Yeah, that's usually a page out of my uni's playbook. Best one was completely and utterly revamping and changing our intranet midway through a semester -- no one amongst students or staff could find anything subsequently, just before finals.

As usual, mine has come up with about half a dozen new initiatives in the past two weeks with no formal announcements, no testing of systems, no consultation with staff. I still have zero idea how we're meant to implement the new attendance policy which involves having to generate security codes for the students each time we have a new class with them (so, for example, if I have a lecture at 12, and then the seminars in different rooms at different hours that day or later in the week, I have to generate all new codes for the students. Oh, and triage any problems they have despite learning that I have to do all of this...three days ago).

I absolutely cannot see the point in masks when the cunts will be cheek-by-jowl filling a 300 seat lecture hall to the brim and spitting down each other's fuckholes every goddamn night.

Same -- we are required to have one to one tutorials via Teams for the 'students protection and mental well being' yet they're being crammed back into lecture halls, not wearing masks, attending a billion social events the university is organising, and doing fuck knows what in halls and housing when they're not in class.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #815 on: September 17, 2021, 03:22:59 PM »
Last year, we made the assumption that they'd be up to all sorts off campus so all our on-campus stuff essentially assumed they were riddled. Only way to be sure.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #816 on: September 18, 2021, 10:46:22 AM »
Here it's a legal requirement for students (though not staff) to wear masks while in the University, so we can at least deflect any criticism of whether this is pissing in the wind to the government. Nevertheless, I think we're in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.

I gather there are some departments which are doing little in the way of in-person teaching, for reasons that are unclear to me. I'm using a bit more real estate than in the pre-covid days, which might be reducing the space available for other classes but one feels this ought to be compensated by the fact that essentially all lectures are taking place online. Apparently there is some discontent among students who have turned up to discover a single fortnightly in-person class on their timetable. As I said before, I think my own department has struck a pragmatic balance between offering a decent amount of in-person teaching without having too many people in the same space at the same time. We'll see how it plays out. Despite the fact I hate online teaching with a passion, I am also glad I won't be walking into a theatre of 300 coughing students on Monday[1]. But I do plan to drop into the workshops to say Hello (and to show some solidarity with the TAs who'll be doing most of the in-person teaching).

I think whilst mask-wearing and distancing may be to some extent performative when the students can go out together in the evening and do whatever they like with each other, the University is probably insisting on it in the hope it can avoid the negative press of outbreaks on-campus. With cases starting to fall up here, it would be great if the start of term doesn't reverse that as otherwise universities are going to get blamed even though we're about the only place left where mask-wearing and distancing is still a thing! It's not clear there's a better alternative route. If we were able to return to business as usual, as is possible down south, that almost guarantees a spike. If we reverted to fully online, as some colleagues apparently seem to want, we'd be looking at the continued stress and workload implications of trying to do something that the level of tech we have right now isn't really capable of, further exacerbating student mental and physical health problems arising from isolation and being stuck on the other side of a screen all day[2], and, in the longer term, students will fuck off to places where in-person is the norm and we'll not have anyone left to teach with inevitable redundancies as a consequence.

It's a tricky situation with no right answer, although plenty of wrong ones (as demonstrated upthread).
 1. My predecessor on my course contracted measles a few years ago, I suspect as a result of the first of the Wakefield generation coming through. They were hospitalised with complications including meningitis. The first thing I did when I took over the course was to get the MMR jab - I'd lost my childhood vaccination record so although I'm fairly sure I'd have been jabbed, I didn't want to take any chances. If you're of a nervous disposition, I would not advise looking up R0 for measles.
 2. I've seen at first hand the highly deleterious effects of this on students who were previously acing their courses

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #817 on: September 18, 2021, 12:33:03 PM »
My thoughts exactly.

We've planned all labs around reduced numbers and maintaining many of the rules from last year. Lectures etc are different but we've let staff continue teaching online if they so wished. Rooms have been underfilled i.e. 300 capacity for ca. 100.

My department's plan A is the University plan B*, and we have everything set up for moving sessions online. Review in Week 7 and at Christmas. Cross everything.

Not entirely sure anyone else has spotted that the Govt winter plan appears to be a vaccine mandate for Universities if they move up to their second tier of restrictions.

*actually got a minor bollocking for this. I stood my ground.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #818 on: October 02, 2021, 07:08:40 PM »
We’re now three weeks in (if you include welcome week) and a spike is yet to materialise. The case rate in the university is running at about 1/3rd that of the general population. Interestingly the screening programme seems to be running at a higher rate of positives, which suggests it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing and catching asymptomatic cases. I also feel more reassured by twice weekly negative tests. Especially after having spent a day and a half circulating first year classes - not because anyone made me, but because I missed meeting students in the flesh last year. They all seemed happy enough, which is good. And all wearing their masks. I guess that’s what they’ve been doing at school for the last year so it probably feels more natural for them than it does for us.

So you never know. We may just get away with this.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #819 on: October 02, 2021, 08:19:02 PM »
We’re in the same boat. After the mandate, I’m told by some admin bod that our university is ~98% fully vaccinated and the other 2% are mainly lads from China that have had a non-approved vaccine so they’re a bit stuck in administrative limbo but essentially fully vaccinated.

Despite this stupid party of several thousand undergraduates in a random residential neighbourhood which made the local news, no explosion of cases so also getting away with it.

Wait and see time I suppose. We are retaining social distancing, capacity limits and mandatory indoor masking until the pandemic is declared over, the only jurisdiction in North America to do so which is nice fing to do innit Andy.

Alberon

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #820 on: October 02, 2021, 10:33:02 PM »
I'm seeing a lot less mask wearing when students are piling in for a lecture, but not bad in general. We have no social distancing in classroom layouts, but we've been asked to put a plan in place if a return to 1m+ social distancing is required.

I'm still generally optimistic, though it is very weird to be walking through the university with all these people around. We've virtually had the place to ourselves the last year and a half.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #821 on: October 03, 2021, 10:57:13 AM »
I think we had at least ca. 50 % of our cohort catch it last year (as in, it was reported to uni systems), so that's likely to be an underestimate.

One, older, member of staff has now caught it, during Welcome Week, so not quite in the clear yet.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #822 on: October 03, 2021, 10:58:47 AM »
Quote
We are retaining social distancing, capacity limits and mandatory indoor masking

I'd be happier with this in place. We've got 1/3 in general university buildings and another 1/3 in the labs I'm responsible for (where we actually can't do masking but goggles, gloves etc are all in place).

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #823 on: October 06, 2021, 11:07:05 AM »
do do do
let's all do the Covid
do do do
colleague went to an Away Day with symptoms
do do do
there was no to little ventilation
do do do
let's all do the Covid

Think only one confirmed follow-on infection but STILL mate

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #824 on: October 07, 2021, 08:06:37 AM »
That’s reckless. Though the fact it doesn’t seem to have caused an outbreak suggests that immunity amongst the student body is high. We’re currently reporting one case per 10000 students each day, five times lower than the general population.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #825 on: October 07, 2021, 01:09:54 PM »
Away Day is staff only, so the one other infection was a fairly senior member of staff. Yes, older. Yes, likely other medical issues.

Reckless ain't the word.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #826 on: October 07, 2021, 04:44:43 PM »
Ah right. Got you. Thought you meant a field trip or something. Interestingly online is still mostly the default for us, tutorials and small research / lab meetings being the exception. I think it makes sense to reserve in person for essential situations where online doesn’t really work. I’m not sure staff meetings count.

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