Every student that goes on Brigham Young University’s campus will have to get a COVID-19 test to comply with Governor Herbert’s state of emergency.
BYU student Annie Driggs is OK with this new announcement. “To me it was a no-brainer that yeah, I’m willing to do something slightly inconvenient so that the greater good is perpetuated, and so that I can continue to have a college experience,” she said.
The Utah Health Department made universities responsible for communicating the new testing rules to students. Health officials say they will be working together with the universities, but the schools must take charge of all the logistics.
Some students approve of BYU’s decision to start testing students. One even believes that they should have started sooner.
“I honestly wish they started that earlier,” said BYU student Emily Angell. “I mean like yeah, it may seem tedious, but if it can help prevent spread, like a lot of people are asymptomatic for a while, like, I say go for it.”
The announcement comes with mixed responses from students. Some will have to make changes, like dropping in-person classes in favor of online ones.
Others, like Angell, would like to be able to have all online classes but can’t because at least one of their classes requires in-person participation.
Still others agree with Driggs and say that this doesn’t affect their class and work schedules for next semester.
“I mean, I’m in a very different position than some other people,” said Driggs. “I’m a senior about to graduate; this is my last semester. It’s important to me that I do have that interaction with professors, so I still want to be here.”
BYU representatives declined an interview but provided a statement reiterating their commitment to follow the executive order, and their belief in the importance of coronavirus testing.
“I would just put in another shoutout of gratitude for BYU for making the calls that they have,” said Driggs. “And for holding us accountable to decisions that might be inconvenient, but in the long term, I think are very smart and very conscientious.”
As January and winter semester loom closer, BYU students wait anxiously to find out the extent of the new testing rules, as well as funding and enforcement questions.