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
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.
Students learn better in person
Students are paying for a college education and therefore deserve the tools which enable them to learn. Colleges should have students back on campus so that they are able to get the most out of their education.
All colleges are already struggling financially due Covid-19. Colleges still have high campus operation and maintenance fees usually covered by room and board charges. Campuses that remain online will have to pay these bills from their own reserves.
Some students depend on campus housing and facilities
Many students depend on student housing and accommodation during the year – a safe and stable space conducive to learning. The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges shut down, leaving many students who come from precarious household situations to fear for their future.
No – Students should do the semester online and not come back to campus
The covid-19 pandemic is threat to everyone to various degrees, and all necessary precautions should be taken to limit the spread of infection.
It's impossible to plan ahead in such uncertain times
The Covid-19 pandemic changes on a daily basis, with new outbreaks popping up periodically across the world. Colleges have the impossible task of developing long term plans which will accommodate students, faculty, and staff through the various changes to the status quo.
Repopulating college campuses threatens the lives of the faculty, staff, and surrounding communities. While most college students are healthy 18-22-year-olds, the other people involved in the campus operation are not, and neither are those living in the surrounding communities who will suffer alongside the colleges if an outbreak occurs.