Southwest Tennessee Community College has instituted “virtual Fridays” for the summer semester in an attempt to save students and faculty pain at the pump due to record-high gas prices.
“The well-being of our students and employees is a top priority at Southwest Tennessee Community College,” a college spokesperson told Campus Reform.
“We are an engaged community with a culture of caring that understands their needs and challenges,” the spokesperson continued. “When gas prices began to escalate, we know students and employees would be significantly impacted.”
Virtual Fridays began on May 27 and will extend through Aug. 12.
According to its website, “normal operations” are scheduled to resume on Aug. 15. However, these dates may be subject to change if gas prices do not decrease.
The college spokesperson told Campus Reform that the college currently does not plan on going remote in the fall.
“Our schedule for fall semester classes has not changed,” the spokesperson assured.
However, WREG Memphis reports that this may be changed if the cost of gas does not decrease.
As of Tuesday, the average cost of gas in Tennessee is $4.28, according to AAA.
That price is $0.33 cheaper than the national average, which rose to approximately $4.60 as of May 27.
Increased costs have caused pain for students across the country, and students reported to Campus Reform that they have sought alternative methods of transportation to save themselves pain at the pump.
One University of Florida student told Campus Reform in April that his parents sold their car in order to save money.
Tulane University students also sounded off to Campus Reform about high gas prices and admitted that it has become harder to travel home.
“It’s pretty awful that college students, and really anyone, are so dependent on gas prices going up that much that they can’t get home to see their family,” one student told Campus Reform.
Another student stated she was concerned that touring schools for her graduate degree would be more expensive this year.
Southwest Tennessee Community College operated remotely for 13 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campus returned to in-person courses during the fall 2021 semester but delayed a complete return to campus until Jan. 25.
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