By Dina Usanovic
Many universities throughout the nation have incredibly similar guidelines for safely bringing students back to campus this fall. Among these guidelines are socially distanced classrooms, mask mandates, reduced dorm capacity, social contracts, and health assessments. Many of these guidelines have obvious effectiveness in severely limiting the Coronavirus’s spread. However, a few guidelines seem- to be blunt- problematic.
The social contract, which is required before every semester is an excellent start to ensuring every student follows the CDC’s guidelines for safely returning to school. After all, we each have a responsibility to protect each other, along with ourselves. However, Cleveland State University does not seem to have an implementation plan. What will happen when a student violates the contract? How will the university know when one student violates the contract? There does not seem to be a strong sense of obligation throughout the student body to adhere to the social contract when there are no explicitly stated repercussions for violating it.
The daily health assessments have a similar efficacy rate: slim to none. There is no way of verifying the information students are submitting. If a student is experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19, they could easily submit an assessment claiming that they are not and still attend class while being symptomatic. Without any follow-up or verification of the information being submitted, the health assessments will have minimal effect on the CSU’s actual safety. While it’s understandably challenging to monitor thousands of students’ health, some form of verification would be largely beneficial.
Furthermore, how is the student body holding Cleveland State University accountable? There are rumors of recent positive COVID-19 cases in CSU, and virtually no students have heard about them. The university has an obligation to report any possible health dangers to its students. The students need to hold the university accountable just as much as the university needs to hold the students accountable. Unless each member of the university is doing what they are supposed to, the CSU’s safety will be questionable at best.