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Illinois State University faculty members say the university needs a new reopening plan.

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NORMAL (WEEK)- Illinois State University faculty and staff said they are concerned about the university's plans to return to campus this fall. This led them to write a letter to the President of Illinois State University, Dr. Larry H. Dietz.

The letter from the faculty members stated they want to have the option to work from home, have COVID-19 testing sites on campus, and mandatory procedures for students to follow.

Math professor, Olcay Akman, says the university's plan encourages students to wear masks and social distance, but it does not require them, and that's not enough.

"Just last week a very large number of infections were traced to a bar in a East Lansing, next to Michigan State University. Same thing in Arizona. Same thing in George," stated Akman.

Staff members understand students are not going to get the four year college experience they want, and they sympathize with them.

"It's not going to be like, 'yeah we're going to have our tailgates. We are going to have our games. We are going to have a lot of fun,' because it's not going to be that way. We're going to be grabbing our food in our to-go things, and we're going to be eating in our room because we can't be socializing. How are we going to do any of those other items that make up your typical four year college experience," said Special Education Associate Professor, Dr. Carrie Anna Courtad.

The university has heard the staff and faculties concerns and agrees there should be some changes.

"A lot of the issues they are bringing up in the letter are parts of our planning process we have been working on for quite some time. As parts of that plan become formalized and finalized we are able to make some formal announcements and plans," said Director of Media Relations, Eric Jome.

The new plan is said to be more thorough, and it would allow the faculty to determine how they would like to teach; whether that be online, in-person, or both. This plan should be released next week.


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