By Amber Lyn Hunsicker
KU should have made the tough decision and put students fully online to ensure the safety of it’s staff and students for the Fall 2020 semester.
KU’s classes began Aug. 24. Unfortunately, this semester is going to be like no other because of KU’s steps to ensure students’ safety. Although there are currently no cases of coronavirus on campus, and the number of cases nationwide has dropped immensely, there is still a chance for a second wave of COVID-19. Regardless, KU is set to return to face-to-face classes, while some are hybrid or fully online.
Over the past week, students from all over moved into their dorms and apartments on campus. So, KU decided to set some precautions to try to minimize the risks of contracting the virus.
KU requires that students try to maintain a six foot distance from one another. Students must also wear face masks that cover their mouth and nose in rooms and buildings and anywhere on campus where they cannot maintain the six-foot distance. It is suggested that everyone wash their hands for at least twenty seconds and sanitize any equipment they use. Students should also report any COVID symptoms, so they can be quarantined.
Even though KU has taken precautions, many students, including myself, do not want to return to campus at this time. This summer, I worked my seasonal, full-time job as a janitor at a school, which was very difficult with the precautions we had to take.
Only so many people were allowed in the building at a time and leaving us understaffed. For the first month, we were only allowed in the school three to four days a week and put us behind schedule.
My job only allowed a couple people to a room to clean and required staff to wear face masks covering their noses and mouths. They also required that each staff member report whether they had any symptoms of COVID or if they had traveled, so they could be quarantined. Yet, there were staff members who traveled anyway or chose not to wear a face mask. This put not only myself but also my coworkers and my family at risk.
I strongly believe that no matter how many precautions we try to take, there will always be a chance of catching the virus. I wonder how KU expects to enforce these precautions when places like my summer job, with only a few staff members, are struggling to do so, and KU has more people to worry about.
The only way to ensure the safety of every individual is to go fully online and close campus for the semester. I know that being fully online is difficult; I have six classes and was dreading the thought of it, but I think that it would keep our Golden Bears safer than sitting in a classroom an hour a week with potential risks.
Going fully online would eliminate these risks as there would be no physical contact with other people or equipment/materials. It also would deviate away from shared spaces like dorms, bathrooms, crowded hallways and dining halls.
Yet, KU insists that we return back to school even though they cannot enforce these precautions. KU may be able to ensure every student in class is wearing a mask, but besides that, there are still so many risks, especially after hours when students are done with their classes and are roaming the community.