Students blame school for creating COVID-19 ‘cluster’

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, has slammed the school’s administration for pushing its students to go back to school amid the ongoing pandemic.
  • The school did not heed the recommendation of local county health officials to impose limited student residence and use an online learning scheme.
  • Defending the action, University Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said that the health department’s advisory was not compulsory.

The official student newspaper of the University of North Carolina has criticized the school administration for pushing students to go back to campus and establishing a “coronavirus cluster” amid the resurgence of coronavirus. In a matter of days, the school retracted its coercive initiative.

On Monday, the Daily Tarheel, the university’s student newspaper released an editorial with a headline “We all saw this coming,” expressing the anger of the students toward the “cash cow” treatment of the administration.

“One thing’s for sure — [their] roadmap leads straight to hell,’’ the editorial wrote, referring to the school officials. “The administration continues to prove they have no shame, and the bar for basic decency keeps getting lower.’’

Deviating from the local county health officials’ recommendation to strongly impose limited student residence and undergo online classes for more than a month, the university opened its semester with campus housing and in-person learning last week.

In less than a week, there were at least five or more cases reported in three campus residence halls and a fraternity, coming from at least four “coronavirus clusters” that were established by the university.

“We’re angry — and we’re scared,’’ the editorial writers said. “We’re tired of the gaslighting, tired of the secrecy, tired of being treated like cash cows by a University with such blatant disregard for our lives.”

“University leadership should have expected students, many of whom are now living on their own for the first time, to be reckless. Reports of parties throughout the weekend come as no surprise,’’ the newspaper continued. 

“Though these students are not faultless, it was the University’s responsibility to disincentivize such gatherings by reconsidering its plans to operate in-person earlier on.”

According to Kevin Guskiewicz, the university’s chancellor, the health department’s advisory was not mandatory.

“As much as we believe we have worked diligently to help create a healthy and safe campus living and learning environment, we believe the current data presents an untenable situation,” Guskiewicz told the Huffington Post.

“As we have always said, the health and safety of our campus community is paramount, and we will continue to modify and adapt our plan when necessary.”

Source: New York Post

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