UNC began in-person instruction on Monday, with many students entering a classroom for the first time since last March.
On Sunday — after students rushed Franklin Street following UNC's win over Duke — the University announced that professors had the option to delay the start of their in-person classes until Feb. 17. Some professors chose to keep their classes on Zoom this week.
Director of University bands Jeff Fuchs, who is teaching two band electives this semester, is delaying the start of his class sections until next week. He said he made the decisions after his students expressed concern about coming to class, especially because of the added exposure risk that playing instruments poses.
“I feel totally comfortable with the mitigations we've put in place for our classes in the music department and the classes specifically that I'm going to be teaching,” he said. “My trust level for the remainder of the students on campus and in the community is less high at this point.”
In some cases, the decision to delay in-person instruction was department-wide.
All LFIT classes that were scheduled to be in-person, for example, are still meeting on Zoom this week after an announcement from the department head.
Kathleen Stanford, a graduate student teaching four LFIT sections this semester, said she was relieved to hear about the delay.
“Anytime we have a major concern, a delay or break is something that we should consider,” she said. “I think that was a very good move for (the University) to offer the opportunity for instructors to stay on Zoom or to stay virtual. I'm hoping that they'll continue to offer that option should another event of concern arise.”
Some professors are also trying to shift the mode of instruction of their classes to provide more safety and flexibility for their students.