Globe’s Point: Students are being failed by the system with the return to campus

We are still in a pandemic. We aren’t here to stand on some soapbox and shame people for enjoying their lives, it’s been a long year. If you feel comfortable going to a concert, go to a concert. If you feel comfortable going to a bar, go to a bar. This week, for once, we aren’t here to tell you how to live your life.

What we are here to do is talk about how the school is handling the return to campus, and that’s poorly. No, we aren’t talking about people playing bingo in Lawrence Hall or people hanging out maskless in Village Park. Everyone on campus should be vaccinated and on-campus events are, for the most part, relatively safe. The issue is with how the return to the classroom is being handled, both by the university administration and faculty. As long as masks are still required in the classroom, professors need to include some sort of remote option.

Students have had to quarantine because of positive breakthrough case tests, and the university has hung them out to dry. There have been no clear COVID-19 absence policies communicated to the students or faculty for this year. Professors have argued that a remote option is too much work, which is a really dumb argument because it only takes 21 seconds to log into Zoom and start a call. We know because we timed it.

Not only that, but students who have had to quarantine have said on social media that the university has not provided them with enough meals. It is not very difficult for the school to send food to people, and it raises further questions. We all want this to end, don’t get us wrong, and the school very obviously also wants it to end. But if we want it to end, isn’t it much easier for them to properly provide for the people who have to self-quarantine, so that they don’t have to break their quarantine to gather themselves the basic human necessities that they physically need to survive.

Then there’s one more big thing: pass no credit. The last two semesters the university provided a pass/no credit option, which they are
discontinuing this semester and should not be. The implication, once again, is that the university wants to return to normal. But we haven’t, and we should stop pretending that we have.