Letter: The class of COVID-19 | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: The class of COVID-19

Typical college campus scenes include packed libraries, in-person lab group meetings and busy university rec centers catering to both students and community members.

The scene on campus this fall is the opposite. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, leaving the college system, including students, professors and families, in panic mode coming into the 2020 school year.

With COVID cases increasing steadily on college campuses since the end of July, the problem is only worsening, with little to no response from university officials.

Colorado has had over 3,900 cases in 26 schools from August until the end of the first week of November. Most notably, the outbreak occurring at CU Boulder. With this outbreak, CU is on the brink of being the first school in Colorado to reach 2,000 cases just a week before the holiday season.

We as a society need to do a better job controlling this virus. That includes our whole education system from kindergarten through college. There has been considerable effort in the lower grades to provide effective stay-at-home learning. Younger kids are getting the attention required and are being supplied with the proper resources to succeed in this trying time.

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At the collegiate level, the attitude and effort put toward COVID-19 is the opposite of that for primary and secondary education. Universities are displaying a lack of overall care for students with no consistent messaging or policies from school to school.

Yes, universities need to find a way through this horrible situation; however, withholding information, creating lockdown mandates with police intervention, making staff feel undervalued and unheard, and in the most literal sense, shortchanging students — and their families — is not how to fix this terrible situation.

University leaders should not be cowering from the adversity but facing it head on the way students have. Be honest about the numbers, give the students the help they need, whether it be financial or educational resources.

Harvard, a world leader in more than education, has been very proactive making amendments to curriculum, finances and staff situations coming into the 2020 season. This time, effort and overall care should not be limited to just Harvard but the whole university system across the country.

Zach Milavitz

Steamboat Springs

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