As cases on-campus rise and event after event is canceled, ACU students are asking the question, where do we go from here?
While the university is doing several preventative measures, such as requiring social distancing in classes and certain on-campus events, increased sanitization and mask requirements for all classes and activities, are they doing enough to ensure that we are safe while on campus?
I think we can all agree that while it is safe we would all like to be in class, but is it really safe if we are reaching numbers as high as 10% of students quarantined? There have been no cases traced back to classrooms, and most cases have been traced back to off-campus get togethers, housing and sporting events. With the increase in cases, university administration has postponed or canceled sporting events, rushing/pledging and many homecoming festivities.
Since the rise in cases has not been linked to events like these and has mostly been linked to off-campus activities, it seems counterintuitive to move certain events back a couple of weeks and leave others. Administration has several options as to what to do going forward, but weeks have passed since the spike in cases and they still haven’t chosen.
We could go online for two weeks and see if the cases die down from lack of campus activity, then return if they do. We could go online for the rest of the semester. Administration could cancel all extra-curricular activities. Administration could keep a closer watch on campus events and be more strict on social distancing. There are many options as to how administration could handle this spike and work to keep ACU a safe place for students to learn, but all they have to do is pick one.
Sure, all of these options have their pros and cons. We could go online for two weeks and see that cases increase, which would mean we should just stay online. Going online is difficult if not impossible for some classes, and some students just can’t learn that way. Going online would also pose questions of whether or not students who live on campus have to go home, whether the Bean and other on-campus amenities would remain open and if students would be seeing any refunding for their tuition and fees. Administration could cancel all extra-curricular activities, but then ACU wouldn’t be much different than a community college.
The university should be weighing these options and implementing some kind of change, no matter which plan it is, but the longer they go without making a decision, the more cases will continue to rise and students and faculty alike will be unsure how to move forward. Some professors have begun preemptively moving their classes online, while others haven’t set up any kind of Zoom for students who are in quarantine to attend class. The inconsistency in the way that faculty and students handle the spike comes from a lack of a decision from administration, and we can only hope that this is remedied soon and that cases go down.
Whatever choice the university decides to make, students remember: it is ultimately up to you to keep cases down.