Student Senate met over Zoom April 3 to discuss university operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After the switch to online learning, Dean of Students David Strauss said there have been several questions about future labs and other classes traditionally taught in-person.

“Everything (will be) online. There will be no in-person classes for spring and for spring/summer,” Strauss said.

Strauss said there has been no decision made yet for late summer courses or for the fall. 

Although Wayne State’s Barnes and Noble bookstore is closed to the public, it is still operating and is offering free shipping for textbooks, said Jodi Young, the store’s general manager. 

Young said the bookstore is working to provide students with resources like free return labels for winter semester rentals, and free online access to select textbooks.

“Publishers are really stepping up to help instructors and students transition, and we’ll work to help communicate this (information) whenever we can,” Young said.

SAGE Publishing is providing free online access to the political science textbooks used in PS 1010, throughout the summer, she said.

Senate also experienced their first “Zoombombing” about 30 minutes into the meeting. 

Senate agreed to livestream their next meeting, April 16, on social media without publicly sharing the Zoom link to join after the “Zoombombing” incident.

Senate president Stuart Baum addressed the interruption in a newly created Zoom meeting, and said they’ll be taking precautions to avoid this from happening again. 

About 30 minutes into the Senate meeting, several unknown users interrupted the virtual Zoom meeting by shouting racial slurs, expletives, and sharing their screens to portray pornographic content. 

“I’ve heard about (Zoombombing) on the news, but this is the first time I’ve seen it happen,” Baum said. 

Due to the stay-at-home orders across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in video conferencing to host meetings and classes. 

The FBI released a statement on March 30 warning users against online hijackers.

“Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests,” the FBI advised. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a warning April 2, citing the FBI’s release. 

Other Senate updates:

 

  • Senate is working on making the e-bill more user-friendly to students.

 

  • To prevent drop-outs and encourage students to continue their education, Baum said Senate is working with the university to be “flexible with holds on accounts.” This may look like allowing students to register for courses if they have a small balance and fit other requirements to stay on track, Baum said.