Recently, many universities have been releasing their plans for the 2020 fall semester as students are desperate to find out whether campus will be open or not. While Stony Brook hasn't officially released their plans, they sent a basic overview of what they are expecting to do if we were to come back fall semester and I have a couple of qualms with these plans.
While I know to try to figure out how to return back to campus during a pandemic is uncharted territory and could be quite difficult when you have to keep the safety of hundreds of staff and students in mind, I feel as if these proposed plans will fall through. On our campus, we have a "No Tobacco" rule in place, and in certain areas, there are signs that say that there is not tobacco allowed and yet, I never fail to see at least one person smoking a cigarette on my way to class, next to the sign. I just don't think students will follow the guidelines put in place unless they are actually enforced. What's stopping people from going to other people's dorms when there are several other entrances besides the main one. What's stopping students from going to bars with their friends or going to parties where there is no monitor?
It's "expected" of us to follow these rules, but what about the few kids who just don't care? I think us being allowed to come back on campus is a dangerous game, and the only reason why they're letting us back is because of the money Stony Brook would be loosing if the fall semester fully goes online. How safe is it really to make two kids from different states share one small room, or make a suite full of six people share one bathroom? What would happen if one of those kids got sick, where will the other kids in the suite live? How can kids safely use the library or the gym while maintaining social distancing guidelines? It feels as if we are going back just to be sent back in a month when cases start to rise again.
Since a majority of classes are going to be online, it would make sense that the tuition costs would be lowered as well, but, college is a business and I wouldn't put it past Stony Brook to tack on more fees for "COVID-19 preparedness" onto my bill. I hate that I have to spend my college career from home, but I'd rather that than go back to a coronavirus infested campus.