MAXATAWNY TWP., Pa. - Students, faculty and staff are reviewing Kutztown University's plans to reopen in the fall, a plan that includes face-to-face classes being completed the week before Thanksgiving and finishing the semester online.

"Really, that open letter [to the university] came from after we read the reopening plan, all of these questions arose," said Kutztown professor Tabetha Bernstein-Danis.

Some faculty said union representatives for food service staff and others weren't represented in the planning, including the janitorial staff responsible for cleaning.

The university said it tried to make sure all voices were heard in the process.

Testing for COVID-19 is also a concern ahead of students' planned return to campus on Aug. 24.

"We are not requiring them to test before they come on campus, but we are encouraging them to do so," said Matt Santos, vice president of university relations and athletics. "The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) does not require or recommend testing, necessarily, before students come to campus."

Bernstein-Danis sees a problem with that.

"That completely leaves out anybody who's asymptomatic," she said. "We also know there's about a 14-day period before a person might even show symptoms. In the meantime, they could be spreading it."

Faculty members, unless they have submitted paperwork with health information or they live with someone at risk of coronavirus, are required to be on campus, while students have the option of taking classes virtually.

But some faculty said there are issues arising from that approach, including some classes not being available online.

"Ultimately, we encourage all members of the campus community to put the their personal health and wellness first, and make the decisions that they're most comfortable with in this current environment," Santos said.

Some KU employees are calling on the administration for more dialogue ahead of the opening. Union leaders plan to meet again on Friday.

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