It’s September, and you know what that means. Summer is over, and we must return to everyone’s favourite place, school!
We’ve been locked away for the past 18 months, experiencing school through a webcam while pretending not to be in bed. However, it is now September 2021, we are returning to campus in BC, and this will be their first time on campus for some. Whether that means moving away from your hometown or simply getting out of bed for a commute, this is a milestone in the pandemic.
Although we are back on campus, there are still guidelines in place to keep students and staff safe. However, some are arguing that this return is too soon.
Last Sunday night at the University of Victoria, well over 1000 students gathered for a huge party outdoors on campus. Saanich police report that most of the students were unmasked and crammed together, which raises concern for the safety of students, staff, and local community members.
We are strongly urging our students to act responsibly and not gather in large numbers on campus property for parties. This behaviour jeopardizes a safe start to the school year for students, faculty and staff.https://t.co/q17UVG7qPN
— UniversityOfVictoria (@uvic) September 6, 2021
Similar events have been reported at UBC, where an indoor frat party ended up being a super spreader event. According to students, over 200 attendees are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and are getting tested.
Public Health and the RCMP are monitoring these events and trying to stop them at the source. However, these parties continue to occur across the province.
Through conversations with classmates and friends, I can safely say that students prefer in-person classes to the online learning platform. In-person learning provides social interactions and community, a sense of routine and motivation, and an escape from household responsibilities and stresses.
Being on campus improves the quality of education and positively impacts students’ mental health, but it also seems to pose a major health risk.
Do you think the return to campus was the right decision by the government? What’s more important, returning to “normal” or the upsurge and spread of Covid-19?