Mass. Teachers Union Calls ‘Emergency Hearing' to Voice Concerns Over College Reopening

Students, faculty and staff will voice their concerns about pandemic-era back-to-school protocols at an emergency hearing

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In what they're calling a "COVID crisis on campus," the Massachusetts Teachers Association is holding an emergency meeting Monday to voice concerns about the colleges' back-to-school plans amid the pandemic.

Students, faculty and staff will deliver testimony about their apprehensions and expectations for learning during the pandemic at the 5 p.m. hearing.

Some universities in Massachusetts have opted for in-person classes, or are at least bringing students back on campus, while others are moving forward exclusively online. The state's largest teachers union invited legislators, Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago and University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan to the meeting.

The meeting comes after Worcester State University was listed among colleges with the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases, according to a survey conducted by the New York Times.

Worcester State President Barry Maloney wrote a letter last week arguing that the data is misleading because the 33 cases, which were self-reported, came after the university moved online and did not arise on campus.

Worcester State has committed to a blended format of in-person and remote learning when classes resume in the fall. But like so many institutions, plans are a “work in progress.”

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