Should Colleges Stay Open During a Pandemic?


Sean Yang, Staff Writer

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, universities have begun to take many adaptive measures such as converting lectures into online classes while ensuring that students are regularly tested for the coronavirus. Despite all of these precautions, I still believe that all colleges should close until massive improvements are made towards the pandemic.

Even though we are amidst a massive pandemic, some college students are still choosing to have parties and gatherings which often causes the number of cases to rise as nobody is social distancing while attending these events. Additionally, most of these events are held by sororities and fraternities at the colleges, which have a major impact on student life and the social atmosphere found at universities.

“The basic features of daily life in sororities and fraternities supersize the risk of spreading the virus,” said Amy Harmon of The New York Times. 

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill had to move their undergraduate classes completely online because there were four clusters of infection at the fraternity houses. 

“The frats are being frats: They are having their parties,” said a U.N.C. sophomore. 

Many people are aware of the problems that the openings of colleges are causing. After governor Brian Kemp pushed for in-person instruction in Georgia, students and campus workers at Georgia Tech University staged a die-in, a form of protest where participants simulate being dead, in order to protest the opening of the university. They wanted to show that opening up the school would lead to more cases as well as more deaths, and it is no coincidence that the amount of cases in the state of Georgia has once again peaked. 

Even though the colleges that stay open are doing their best to handle the pandemic, I believe that no matter what they do, it will not be enough. If students are living together on campus, they will want to interact with each other.

“We see a lot of our students are not following COVID-19 safety protocols,” said chair of the University of Florida’s faculty union Paul Ortiz.

By completely shutting down the campus, fewer interactions will be made among students, which could be a crucial factor in lowering the number of COVID-19 cases. Colleges do face financial strain when shutting down campuses, but I believe health should be prioritized first. The universities are able to fully function with online classes; distance learning balances health and education while prioritizing the safety of students and their families.

Of course, colleges should not be closed down forever, but until the pandemic can be brought under some level of control, university doors must remain closed. Once cases start to drop, it is reasonable for colleges to begin re-introducing in-person learning as well as allowing students to once again live on campus. 


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