Zoom on Computer

Zoom image on a laptop on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Penn State faculty who participate in the "Zoom-In" protest hosted by the Coalition for a Just University on Monday and Tuesday could be "subject to disciplinary sanctions," university spokesperson Wyatt Dubois said in a statement.

The protest consists of faculty members pledging to teach solely via Zoom for two days to "demand a COVID vaccine mandate," according to its Instagram page.

During a virtual town hall meeting on Aug. 3, President Eric Barron announced the university would not mandate vaccinations, though the university "is not impartial to them," and an immediate indoor mask mandate soon followed.

"It is important for faculty to meet the expectations of our students and deliver the mode of teaching designated for each course," Dubois said in the statement. "Faculty and instructors who do not meet their in-class teaching obligations may of course be subject to disciplinary sanctions."

According to Dubois, Penn State has heard from students and families who are "upset" that some faculty members intend to participate in the protest, and Dubois said the university understands their concerns.

Penn State's Parents Council said in a statement it is "deeply saddened" regarding faculty decisions to participate in the "Zoom-In" protest.

"Students have spent semesters learning online and even from home and they are anxious to return to as close to a true college experience that the current situation allows in order to rebuild and fortify those relationships," the council said in a statement. "Parents and students are supportive of creating a campus environment that safely supports this return to in-person classes and experiences."

The Parents Council said even though the pandemic is an "ever-changing situation," it encouraged faculty to "reconsider their position" and teach in person as initially planned.

The "Zoom-In," as well as the recent "Rally to Vaccinate Penn State" held in front of Old Main, were a result of an emergency meeting held Aug. 5, where 250 faculty members met to express concerns of feeling disregarded by Penn State's administration in their decision making, the CJU said.

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