Coronavirus Particle

A picture of an overcrowded Virginia Tech classroom surfaced online early during the week of Aug. 23, raising the concerns of whether or not all Virginia Tech community members are practicing safe social distancing.

According to the anonymous student who posted the picture online, the professor said that “we’ll break the rules” during their electrical and computer engineering class.

While the students shown in the picture were wearing masks, little social distancing was followed as students resorted to sitting on the floor once all the classroom desks were taken.

The College of Engineering removed the professor from his instruction temporarily as the college continues to investigate the incident. Furthermore, Virginia Tech would not announce how it is handling violations by professors in the classroom, as reported by WSLS-TV in Roanoke.

“All of us at Virginia Tech—students and faculty—are holding classes and providing instruction as we have never held them before,” said Assistant Vice President for University Relations Mark Owczarski. “We expect there will be glitches that will need to be addressed. We expect that we will discover situations that will need improvement. In doing so, we will make adjustments, offer assistance and make changes until we get it right. The issue you raise is an example of this.”

Owczarski also mentioned “adjustments” will be made to “(deliver) the highest quality educational experience we can under current pandemic circumstances.”

Saying he felt comfortable during and after the incident, the student who posted the classroom online spoke publicly about the situation Wednesday on Reddit. “Everyone that entered that room took a personal choice to (enter the classroom),” the student said. “ … If I didn't feel safe in that room, I would not have entered it.”

As stated in their remarks, the student believes no professor should have to lose their job or career following the incident.