Anticipation and Uncertainty for Fall Term

September 09, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

Here we are in September with the fall term soon upon us. There remains a lot of uncertainty in our return to campus, and you might be feeling trepidatious, anxious, tired, or even excited and energized. We are feeling these things, too. 

Administration is dedicated to their promise to students, Open for All Open for Fall. While some of us might be excited to get back into the classroom, some of us are not. We understand that some students need and want to be on campus, as do some PSU-AAUP members. We support PSU-AAUP members in doing what is best for them--for some people being on campus is the best personal decision for their own and their students’ welfare. We want choices.

President Percy’s address to campus assured us that the University is taking appropriate safety measures and delaying the previous September 7th of staff and AP’s return to campus date by 9 days to September 16th. He also boasted that Portland State was the first Oregon University to require vaccines of students and employees. We remind you that Administration announced this requirement only after PSU-AAUP’s April statement, Administration Should Require Vaccines, and that the delayed return was announced after PSU-AAUP and other unions began circulating a petition to remain remote for fall term. (Read more below to learn about this petition and PSU-AAUP’s stance.) 

We have many unanswered questions. What are the disciplinary guidelines for not masking and vaccination requirements? What are the University’s policies and practices for contact tracing? Will COVID-19 tests be required for unvaccinated students and employees? Administration needs to communicate more effectively all practices and policies to the campus community. There are resources and information from HR and from Emergency Management on their websites, but a more direct communication to the entire campus community would be more effective in terms of mitigating our concerns and well-founded anxieties. Hearing this vital information and getting our questions answered from Administration will help us better advise PSU-AAUP members in regards to their questions about Open for All Open for Fall.

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