As we enter this challenging semester, it is important to recognize that it is up to us, the students, to keep ACU healthy, safe and in-person.
ACU has many procedures in place to ensure the safety of students and staff, including mask requirements, social distancing and increased sanitation. These measures keep us safe while we are in class and on campus, but it is up to us to keep contact down while off campus.
The Universities of North Carolina and University of Notre Dame have both moved from in-person to online classes after only two weeks of moving in.
Both universities cite off-campus activities as the reason for increased infection, with one citing a large party and the other citing residence life and fraternity housing as hot spots for exposure. They are discussing sending the students home depending on levels of positive cases after the two weeks of online classes for quarantine are up.
When looking at cases in other universities that have had significant increases in cases, they are all attributed to off-campus activities.
Since such a significant portion of the student population lives off campus, it is more important than ever that we make good choices when it comes to what we choose to do and where we choose to be outside of classes.
We must have tough conversations with our housemates about social distancing protocols, limiting large get-togethers and checking up on each other’s mental health as well as physical health. It’s up to us.
While the CDC recognizes that COVID-19 is more likely to cause complications in older adults, college campuses aren’t exclusive to perfectly healthy college students. Faculty, staff, professors, older students, those with health conditions that put them at risk, those living with older people and those at risk belong in the ACU community.
It is up to us to protect them from contact as much as we can.
While professors were given the option to opt-out of in-person classes, most classes are harder to teach online. These professors are knowingly putting themselves at risk in order to give us the quality education we want.
Our decision-making could ensure that instruction at ACU remain in-person as long as possible.