Sussex SU pen open letter calling for all teaching to move online

Sussex academics and staff call for all teaching to be online this term

On the 10th September the University of Sussex Students’ Union published an open letter in collaboration with academic staff asking for all teaching in the coming term to be moved online.

The letter itself addresses students by noting that with the ongoing pandemic many staff members and academics agree that teaching for the coming term will be negatively impacted. As such they are calling upon the university to formally announce a move for all teaching, excluding necessary labs and practical work, to be done exclusively through online platforms.

The letter notes that in order for the university to maintain the “quality of teaching [they] are committed to providing”, despite recently published national university rankings, the move is in the best interests of staff and students alike.

One student contacted The Tab Sussex to voice her dismay at the SU’s decision to publish the letter when they did. Safira Nuranisa stated that she was entirely opposed to the letter and its decision, noting the Union’s stance is “Obviously oppose (sic) to what the majority of students want”. Ms Nuranisa particularly makes note of the seemingly last minute nature of this stance, less than two weeks before the start of the teaching term, when other universities have made the same call months in advance.

Safira also claims the students themselves have been given little to no input with the decision given by a body that is supposed to represent them. The sentiment has been shared by other students, who have wished to remain anonymous, but agree that by now most have signed housing contracts and made arrangements with significant financial commitment to attend in face teaching this term.

The University is yet to formally respond to the letter at time of writing, but with term starting so soon and the university not releasing any information on repercussions of not complying with their face mask policy, teaching will go ahead as previously announced with a mix of in person and online teaching.