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Should colleges and universities open in person for the Fall 2020 semester? Show more Show less
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The COVID-19 pandemic has left the future of colleges and universities in a state of utter uncertainty. Across the world they are struggling to come up with safe and equitable strategies for reopening, but which one is best?

Yes – Students should be allowed back on campus for in-person classes Show more Show less

Colleges should reopen their doors in the fall and allow students to come back to campus. Nothing can beat the on-campus experience, and students deserve the opportunity to experience this.
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Local and national economies depend on schools

The economy cannot return to normal if academic settings are shuttered.

The Argument

Local economies, especially college towns and cities, depend heavily on the business brought by college students in the area. Restaurants and bars will be especially hard hit if students don't return for the fall semester. This not only impacts the economy on a financial level. Many of these businesses which depended on college students will be forced to lay off employees as business dwindles in order to keep running costs low. People's livelihoods are at stake if the bulk of their consumers don't return. In some big college towns, students from multiple colleges and universities make up over half of the town residents.[1] Students rent properties, buy food and drinks, go shopping – without this kind of cash flowing through the towns and cities, all manner of businesses will be negatively affected. Only approximately 23% of colleges and universities in the US will be returning for primarily in-person classes, while over a third will be mostly online or hybrid platforms. [2] College towns and cities depend on the academic year (September - May) for the bulk of their revenues. Without this source of income, college towns, especially small rural ones, face total economic collapse as their primary source of income does not return.[1] These economies have been build around the colleges and universities and were doing well – attracting businesses and generating employment and town revenues – up until March when students were sent home.[1][3] College/university students are vital components of many towns and cities and key drivers of local economies. To keep these students away risks destroying local economies which will in turn lead to ever wider economic fall out as cash flows dry up and money stops circulating in these towns and cities.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Local economies depend on college students. [P2] Without college students, local economies will collapse. [P3] Weakened local economies threaten national economies. [P4] Colleges and their students are therefore vital to the economic stability of the country.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-21/what-the-pandemic-is-doing-to-college-towns#:~:text=01%20PM%20PDT-,America's%20College%20Towns%20Are%20Facing%20an%20Economic%20Reckoning,as%20the%20school%20year%20begins.&text=Students%20walk%20through%20the%20campus,Chapel%20Hill%20on%20Aug.%2018.
  2. https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-a-list-of-colleges-plans-for-reopening-in-the-fall/?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in
  3. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/the-future-of-work-in-america-people-and-places-today-and-tomorrow

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 3 Sep 2020 at 22:59 UTC

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