WEST CHESTER (March 10, 2020) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today issued the following statement in response to West Chester University’s plans to move to remote learning for the reminder of the spring semester due to Coronavirus concerns:
“COVID-19 has proven to be an extremely contagious virus, and we do not yet know its full impact on Chester County. I understand and support the University in its decision. However, before online courses begin on March 30, a few primary issues need to be addressed by the university:
- Many students have dedicated on-campus or campus-affiliated jobs, and they rely on these jobs to pay their monthly expenses, including rent with off-campus landlords throughout West Chester. Are there plans in place to discuss with these landlords about compensation for rent and off-campus student housing costs? Or is there a plan to pay these students their wages despite the university’s cancellation?
- If an internship or field experience IS eliminated, what opportunities and options are we giving students so that they can still complete their degree on time, and with the necessary experience?
- What provisions are in place for students with no place to go? West Chester University does have a homeless student population who rely on student dorm housing. Are there any accommodations in place for them?
As the state senator of West Chester and many parts of Chester County, and professor with a 40-year affiliation with the university, I am ready and willing to assist in taking action on these issues, and to help bring the Chester County community and the Commonwealth together to solve these problems.
West Chester University has supported our community for years, and now it’s our time to support them, including the student body. The entire community must come together for students who need housing, food, and other amenities. We must rethink these issues and reach innovative and effective solutions together.