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CNN: "The College Reopening Mess Didn't Have To Happen"

Photo Courtesy: Megan Talley, SUTV News


By: Josie Wilson

Opinions concerning COVID-19 continue to circle, with an opinion piece by Lincoln Mitchell making its rounds. In an article published Wednesday titled “Opinion: The Reopening Mess Didn’t Have To Happen,” Mitchell gives his insight on the response colleges and universities have towards the pandemic and in supporting its students.

Mitchell states how we should not be surprised that each day seems to bring new reports about a college or university experiencing more outbreaks of the novel Coronavirus, and thus ending in students being sent home. He explains that college students are of an age where they are not able or more so not willing to practice effective social distancing.

Most American colleges and universities have spent many hours over the spring and summer coming up with a plan to return in the fall. Many of those made the decision last spring to move everything online for the fall. Those that decided to return their students needed to make sure they enrolled to get revenue from housing, dining, among other fees.

Mitchell also includes the political side of the pandemic, saying it’s taken a toll on decisions and they’ve made this challenge even more difficult. He says, “all decisions around COVID-19 are difficult and involve tradeoffs, but it’s becoming clear that for universities the risk shouldn’t have been taken.”

Mitchell then goes into detail that when schools open then close again, they create a larger possibility to spread the virus to both their immediate community and the communities they reside with their families.

To end his article, Mitchell says “the notion that some of America’s best institutions of higher learning made bad decisions because of legislative majorities that are unwilling to confront the pandemic may be a perfect, and tragic, metaphor for America in 2020.”

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