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Residential Spread

Residential Spread

By The BF Podcast Committee
A podcast about college & coronavirus. We are term-limited contingent faculty teaching the humanities at Georgia Tech. Like other schools, Georgia Tech has experienced massive disruption, shifts, and changes due to the spread of coronavirus. But this fall it is sending students and instructors back into classrooms in a number of modified course delivery modes. On this show, we investigate the sources and consequences of those policies and discuss what it's like to navigate higher ed during a pandemic as members of the precariat.
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Enhanced Disinfection Protocols
This week, we welcome Krystin Gollihue, who is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Alabama, and who used to be one of our colleagues in the Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship at Georgia Tech. She is an expert in, among other things, how institutions communicate during crisis. She helps us understand why schools are so bad at communicating about COVID-19. "Why do Corporations Speak the Way they Do?" UGA's "Plan for a Phased Return to Normal Operations" "Changes to College's Fall Plans: Mapped" Transcript Theme song credit: Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
September 21, 2020
Liability Blues
Before resuming in-person classes, many colleges forced, cajoled, or otherwise pressured students, faculty, and staff to sign behavioral pledges and liability waivers. Are these documents even legal? What, exactly, are they for? This week on Residential Spread, we discuss those questions and Boston University's absolutely baffling Instagram account, @fckitwontcutit. "Op-Ed: Your college may ask you to sign a waiver for harm inflicted by COVID-19. Don’t do it" "Boston University gives PhD Students a Choice: Come Back to Campus or Lose your Health Insurance and Salary" @fckitwontcutit Instagram Account "Legal Expert: Don't Sign COVID-19 Liability Waivers" "Students at Penn State Forced to Sign COVID-19 Liability Waiver to Participate in Fall Semester" "Georgia Legislature Passes Bill to Limit COVID-19 Liability Claims" Transcript Theme song credit: Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
September 14, 2020
Environmental Growth
Last week, Georgia Tech Housing announced a plan to relocate residential students living with roommates into individual dorms and offered prorated refunds. Within 24 hours, it reversed course entirely, made the relocation optional, and cancelled requests for refunds. To provide context for this week, we bring you an interview with Alexandra Marlette, a former RA at Georgia Tech. She tells us that none of GT Housing's response to COVID-19 is surprising. "To Combat COVID, Georgia Tech wants students to move into single rooms" "Inaction and Turnover Plague Housing" Twitter thread on Georgia Tech attempting to hire students to transport students to quarantine "Maintaining the Campus Experience in the Time of Social Distancing" Episode Transcript Theme song credit: Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
September 7, 2020
Reasonable Accommodations
This week, we welcome Jason Helms, associate professor of Rhetoric in the English Department at Texas Christian University. This summer, Jason "went viral" when he tweeted that TCU had refused his request to teach online to protect his 2-year-old daughter, who has a congenital heart defect. In part due to Jason's savvy navigation of media, TCU reversed course.  He reflects on the experience with us. Jason's viral twitter thread "Who gets to teach remotely?" Jason's thread reflecting on the experience Episode Transcript Theme song credit: Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
August 31, 2020
Over the summer, both Notre Dame and UNC-Chapel Hill came forward with ambitious plans to return to on-campus instruction. Late last week, less than 10 days into the start of their respective fall semesters, both schools made major announcements: Notre Dame said they would pause in-person classes for two weeks, while UNC-Chapel Hill gave up and sent students home. Why were these schools so surprised by the absolutely predictable transmission of COVID-19 on their campuses? What are the broader consequences of this reversal? And can Rudy explain Notre Dame's reckless plans for in-person instruction? In this week's episode, we ask these questions and more.  Message from University leaders on important changes for Fall 2020 Roadmap Michigan State, Notre Dame back off of fall re-opening plans Editorial Board of the Daily Tar Heel: "We all saw this coming" Notre Dame HERE Campaign images Episode Transcript
August 24, 2020
"Bored of Regents"
Celebrate the first day of classes at Georgia Tech with the team at Residential Spread!  In this episode, we explore Georgia's Board of Regents. We ask why a body with so little experience in education (and so many conflicts of interest) is making unilateral decisions about higher education in Georgia. Then, we consider past, present, and potential future efforts to challenge that authority. Statement of Academic Faculty of Georgia Tech on the COVID-19 Crisis and Fall 2020 Semester "State’s top professors: Public campuses need freedom to chart own course through pandemic" Statement from USG Presidents (in support of Board of Regents) "After decades of public service, legal woes mount for deposed Georgia Regent" "SEC charges former Georgia regent Dean Alford with defrauding investors" Fact check: Cade Joiner is in fact a resident of Brookhaven. Corey regrets his error. For more details on the #CritU reading group: Transcript
August 17, 2020
"Record Scratch/Freeze Frame"
In our first episode, we compare universities’ responses to COVID-19 in the spring, when case numbers were low but rising, and the fall, when they are high and steady. We also wistfully remember the days when an academic job market existed and friends could share snacks while preparing for campus visits. Links AJC Covid Dashboard Open Letter RE: Online Teaching During Coronavirus “Colleges face Rising Revolt by Professors” Tweet from @CabreraAngel Tweet from @CabreraAngel @Aslavitt thread: “We can virtually eliminate the virus any time we decide to” “Georgia schools still free to choose their own start date” United Campus Workers of Georgia Episode Transcript Theme song credit:  Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod  Link:  License:
August 10, 2020
Sneak Peak: "Close Reading"
In this sneak peak of Residential Spread, we discuss the origin of our show's title. We take it from the name of the mode of course delivery at Georgia Tech that includes the most in-person contact. We discuss how the label is at once evocative of fungi and indicative of higher ed's motivations for pushing face to face instruction in the fall . "COVID-19 Information for Faculty and Instructors" Episode Transcript Theme song credit: Canon in D Major by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
August 7, 2020