Business Administration students asking college to keep winter classes virtual

By Nathan Richison

Some Business Administration students at Red River College Polytechnic are advocating against a return to in-person classes next semester.

In early November, the students—set to graduate this coming spring—discovered they would be returning to campus for their final semester.

Student walking towards RRC Polytech Notre Dame Campus./NATHAN RICHISON

Spurned by what they felt was a hasty decision, they drafted a petition in support of staying online, said Payton Law, a Business Administration student who made the petition public on Nov. 9.

“I was talking with some of my classmates and talking just about how upset we were that we didn’t get much of a notice that we were going to be returning to on-campus again,” Law said. “It affected their jobs, and a lot of them are even considering dropping out.”

Others in the class have expressed concern for immunocompromised family members and the danger that more human contact poses, Law said.

Within a day, the petition garnered more than 300 signatures. At the time of print, that number has more than doubled. The Projector cannot verify if all respondents are RRC Polytech students.

The college has since moved some of the scheduled classes back online, but not all of them, Law said.

“That’s gonna cause a lot of stress on students learning their way around the school, where to park, and just where to hangout in between classes in general,” said Noah Bintcliffe, a fellow Business Administration student

Law agreed that a transition to in-person classes would cause stress among students, just like the move from in-person to online.

For her and others living outside of Winnipeg, moving to in-person classes means hours of driving a day or the potential of signing a year-long apartment lease, she said.

“Realistically, there’s just not enough time for students to return to in-person,” Bintcliffe added.

Law and her classmates contacted RRC Polytech before posting the petition. All students received an identical email stating the issue would be passed along to higher-ups and resolved. The response did not inspire confidence among the class, she said.

“We’re just kind of basically hoping the college will take into consideration our concerns, and we can work out something that works for all of us,” she said.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have taken a blended approach to the delivery of our programs, with the goal to safely increase the supports and services we offer on Campus,” Emily Doer, RRC Polytech’s manager of communications and public relations wrote in an email exchange with The Projector.

The college is working to resolve the issue, Doer wrote.