CSU’s Move to Online Instruction


Photo By Nicolas Gorman

Usually busy, the California State University, Sacramento Welcome Center is empty.

Emma Hutchinson, Mirada Staff

The California State University system comprises 23 campuses and over 480,000 students are enrolled. They announced Monday that instruction in the fall will be almost exclusively online, and that all campuses will be closed. 

The announcement comes on the same day that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force told Senators that it would be unrealistic to expect viable treatments and vaccines to be available in time for student’s to go back to school in the fall, and that rushing reopening the country would lead to devastating death nationwide. 

“It’s honestly so disappointing that San Diego State is closing and there’s still so much uncertainty,” said senior Caitlyn Hayden. “I’m still hoping for the best.”

Amongst uncertainty about what the state of COVID-19 will be in the fall in California, CSU Fullerton announced their plans to begin the fall semester online last month. Many wondered when other state universities would follow suit.

Timothy P. White, chancellor of the CSU system, said that it is possible that there could be exceptions depending on the spread of the virus that would allow for certain lab classes to be offered in person, or allow clinical classes for nursing students. 

Many details have yet to be announced, and there are a lot of factors for the schools to consider before finalizing more specific details. A lot of these decisions ride on the ability of campuses to reopen amidst concerns about students from many different areas living, eating, studying and learning in close proximity. 

White said that the university lacks the resources to test all students and trace contacts in the event that there were to be an outbreak on campus, so it is the safest option for students and staff that courses are offered online. 

Senior Matthew Meier planned to attend San Diego State in the fall, and says that he understands the idea that online instruction is the safest option for students and faculty.

“I think it was a good idea for CSU’s to go online because I think it will help lower the amount of cases if we have a second wave,” said Meier.

The CSU system is the nation’s largest four-year public university system, so the decision to proceed with online classes in the fall raises the question about which other universities will follow their lead. 

The Los Rios Community College District also announced their plans to go online for the fall semester Monday. The district serves over 75,000 students across its campuses, including American River College, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, and Cosumnes River College.