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Students’ Express Concerns About Covid Protocols

Quarantine has become a main process for preventing the spread of covid-19 for many colleges, with remote learning options put in place at most schools across the United States.

For some students have quarantine guidelines and remote learning have been in place since the pandemic started. Most colleges, including SUNY schools, are transitioned to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break. Schools established protocols in an effort to stay open until the start of Thanksgiving break, but many, including Hilbert College, were able to make it that far with cases rising across Western New York.

These precautions include limiting class sizes, wearing masks and sanitizing.  Colleges also prepared for outbreaks of covid-19, by designating certain locations on campus for students who need to quarantine.

Last month the Chancellor of SUNY schools Jim Malatras stated annouced widespread testing requirements for the state school system.

“All students who are living on campus, taking at least one in-person course, or utilizing campus facilities must test negative for COVID-19 before leaving campus at Thanksgiving break,” Malatras said.

This test was required to be taken 10 days before students left for break. Students who test positive were mandated to quarantine for 14 days, ultimately making them stay on campus for thanksgiving break instead of going home.

Since some classes are strictly online, some students did not step foot on campus this semester, making them exempt from testing.

Buffalo State College Junior Keke Scott, who takes online courses and lives off campus, said she has not been impacted by this new policy.

Scott stated she felt bad for students who may possibly have to quarantine.

“I don’t have to worry about having to miss thanksgiving with my family, since I have my own place, she said.”

Another student at Buffalo State College, Bryanna Wilson, said she didn’t feel like students’ feelings were taken into consideration when the decisions were made.

“I understand the Chancellor means well, but I just wish they would ask for students’ opinions first before making a decision about us,” Wilson said.  

Since the pandemic has started institutions have been forced to make drastic decisions. Niah Price, a Junior and student athlete at Buffalo State, said she is fed up with this school year. Not only did the cost of tuition increase but her softball season was cancelled. Schools have taken away traditional breaks and now she had to miss celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with her family.

Overall, students from SUNY schools believe this new protocol is unfair and their opinions and thoughts should have been taken into consideration.

Private schools such as Hilbert College have not made testing mandatory for students. If Hilbert were to make testing mandatory before the Thanksgiving break, students would likely have the same reaction and thoughts as SUNY student, Malik Abdus-Sabr, a Hilbert student, said

“I believe we have been put through a lot this semester and school year as a whole, and to make students stay on campus to quarantine instead of going home is unfair,” Abdus-Sabr said.