Colleges and universities across the country are seeing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. After many have moved completely online and sent their students home, others are still holding in-person classes. With the colleges that are still open, controversy is stirring regarding how they are handling the virus.
At the University of Michigan, pure chaos is unfolding. Resident assistants throughout campus are upset about the way the university is handling COVID-19, especially in regards to the resident hall staff. Along with graduate student instructors and graduate staff, the resident staff has gone on strike. According to the R.A. press release, the strikers have the following demands:
- Access to testing for all Resstaff, even when not symptomatic
- PPE for staff and students
- Enforcement of social distancing and face coverings
- Hire staffing to limit capacity in certain areas
- Hazard pay
Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin is facing a positive testing rate that is above 20%. They have paused in-person instruction for two weeks and have allocated two residence halls for quarantining. The chancellor of the university, Rebecca Blank, expressed her frustration towards the students.
“I share the disappointment and frustration of students and employees who had hoped we might enjoy these first few weeks of the academic year together.”
She continued to speak on how most of the clusters were occurring because of off-campus activity.
California State University—all 23 campuses—has announced that they will be continuing online instruction into the spring 2021 semester. The Chancellor, Timothy P. White, announced to the University:
“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors — regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations — I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing.”
With over 700 positive cases in one week, Florida State University is also seeing an increase, however, they have decided a complete online transition is not necessary.
Here at Penn State, cases are also on the rise. The University has added 272 cases since the last update. Currently, there is no plan of going online, despite rumors that circulated last week.
Experts and school officials are urging students to engage in proper social distancing and to not gather in large groups. Many students have expressed their anger at other students for not complying with University policy, but officials are saying that shaming other students may worsen the situation.