There is no way to sugarcoat this – life during a pandemic is less than ideal, and attending college during these times is even less ideal.
It is okay and appropriate to take the time to be frustrated and complain to each other, but now is also an opportunity to take responsibility and limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
Although the university’s policies may seem strict post-quarantine, they are not a prison sentence, as many of the comments on the recent change.org petition suggested. These regulations were put in place with good intentions.
Students can request to go online if classes and financial aid allows them to do so with little consequence, but if you choose to stay on campus, it means you’re agreeing to follow the rules.
Those that decided to come to campus and continue to stay were aware that campus life was not going to be the same as usual, and that there would be inconveniences.
Everyone needs to lower their expectations about what this semester will be like.
We can hope for the full semester, but we can’t be overly confident or optimistic about it either. Even if the majority of people follow these guidelines, it only takes one outbreak to bring us to another two-week quarantine and be sent home. Administration needs to take this semester week-by-week, instead of promising a face-to-face semester until Nov. 20.
Although the petition to lift restrictions was created with great intentions to bring back a semblance of the normal social interactions seen on college campuses, it’s not a realistic expectation.
Yes, Bradley could have established stricter guidelines at the beginning of the semester so that we didn’t end up confined to our personal residences during non-class times, but we’re here now and should try to remain on campus for the sake of our education.
If we want to continue with in-person education, which has significant value to students and staff, then we need to reach a compromise.
The mandatory guidelines are strict, but calling Bradley a prison is hyperbolic. We can go outside and safely socialize, while also leaving campus for essential errands and take-out. How is this different from what we experienced, as a nation, in March and April?
We need to do what we did then to flatten the curve at Bradley, so it is unrealistic to think that we can socialize in the same ways such as hanging out in big groups at the student center or at local bars.
We are not invincible. The university is not invincible. We need to acknowledge our limits.