BYU needs to move online
BYU is special in many ways, but it is not the exception in the dangerous reopening experiment universities nationwide are attempting at the expense of students, faculty and staff, and communities.
A few weeks ago, BYU’s Instagram featured timely reports of schools forced to go online and vacate campus, pleading with students to forgo large gatherings because “with love, care and compassion, we are confident we can make an on-campus experience work this semester.”
Do we really believe that we can accomplish with “love, care and compassion” what countless other colleges failed to do with a comprehensive universal testing plan, mandatory quarantine upon move-in and strictly-enforced socialization restrictions? I don’t. I work as a COVID screener and I feel safer at my job than I do in my apartment or the Wilk.
On Sept. 3, BYU reported twenty-nine new cases, a single-day high. I am a student, a TA, and a roommate — not a professional mediator, a campus administrator or an epidemiologist. I am not equipped to handle the onslaught of sick friends, students and faculty that has already begun to infiltrate my life. None of us are.
Yes, our transition online must be undertaken with great care to provide an equitable and secure learning environment for all students. It certainly also needs to address the immense public health risk of off-campus housing that will not instantly resolve. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees: BYU must move online — and now.
Do your part, wear a mask
In the first week of the Fall Semester, at least 128 COVID-19 cases have been reported. Many of these cases have resulted from a lack of respect, disregard of regulations, and irresponsible partying. Seriously?
Even if you don’t believe that masks do anything, you still need to do your part. What other choice do we have? There isn’t a vaccine right now. How is it fair to potentially put others in danger and spread this virus just because a person may think that masks are annoying?
The disregard for the safety measures put in place because of the worldwide pandemic should not be happening with college students. Online education has been complained about and described as lesser education, so what do students do? They do everything in their power to ensure that their university will have a massive outbreak in COVID-19 cases and shift to remote learning.
Freshmen, your graduation was canceled. Upperclassmen, winter semester was cut short. We’ve all had the experience. Why on earth would we purposely do the things that we know will force our school to go online? It is unfair, disrespectful, and immature.
Fortunately, our university has not shut down. Yet. We all need to be safe and be smart. Would we rather have a fun weekend or the option to stay on campus? We, as BYU students, are the ones who will determine the outcome of this semester.