By Daniel Sherin
As students come up on their third week of classes back at KU, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, indicating that campus should be shut down and all students should be sent home.
In an open letter to President Hawkinson, written by Allies of Kutztown President Bec Miller and edited by myself, Daniel Sherin, we expressed our concern over the state of the pandemic on campus.
We wrote that we are not only concerned for ourselves and KU students and faculty but also their friends and families.
We were met with a lukewarm response, with Hawkinson saying, despite the issues, “We are still committed to doing our best to provide a residential experience to our students who choose this opportunity.”
As of Sept. 9, KU has 144 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This is of course not counting select allegations by students and faculty alike which suggest there are many unreported cases.
Even when there was just one confirmed case, rumor spread that the true number was actually six. This is what’s scariest, not knowing whether or not there are more positive cases than we are aware of.
Even though precautions have been put in place, select college students have chosen to go out to parties and hang out in gatherings larger than 10. Even everywhere you look on campus, there are large groups of friends sitting in the grass and under trees, not a mask between them.
That being said, maybe it isn’t entirely the fault of the students. After all, testing takes two to three days to get results, and as of Monday, Sept. 7, the total number was at 123, up from 57. So Labor Day parties can’t be entirely to blame for the rising numbers.
Like many colleges the country over however, KU seems to be putting money before its patrons.
To administration’s credit, many options were and are currently being granted to those who are uncomfortable with attending college on campus.
At this point, however, it’s become clear that even with these precautions taken, classes being moved entirely online and a large amount of the student body being off-campus, we are still seeing numbers too high for comfort.
Despite it may have been a valid choice for both the interests of administration and the student body to reopen campus, given the administration wants to keep its finances up, and students, myself included, love being on-campus, it’s become clear that on-campus life is too much of a risk.
From the beginning there was a chance for the virus to spread, even with the most airtight precautions.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the KU administration could have avoided all of this by keeping classes online for the foreseeable future, and we could have largely reintegrated in Spring 2021 in the best case scenario.
Now, as cases rise, the chances of life at KU resembling anything close to normal any time soon dwindles with each day.