Author’s Note: this piece sources from the article “We All Saw This Coming” in The Daily Tar Heel.
Tar Heel nation is crumbling. Four clusters of coronavirus cases popped up on campus in the first week that students were allowed back, and now the administration is moving all classes to online-only:
HuffPo– The editorial board of The Daily Tar Heel, the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, published a searing column on Monday tearing into school leadership for the “clusterfuck” they created by pushing to resume on-campus learning.
The student newspaper isn’t wrong. Their winning point is that the administration should be more transparent with the student body about the threat of COVID on campus. There is no reason the school shouldn’t provide the kids with all the information to let them make their own decisions:
Particularly concerning is the fact that the University has refused to disclose any additional information, including the official number of positive cases, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
However, to argue that the administration should have known that students couldn’t stop themselves from partying, couldn’t keep their beer bongs in their sweatpants, is specious. Without a DOUBT, these kids were furnished with TONS of emails, pamphlets, mandatory Zoom conferences, etc. explaining how to behave and what to avoid when they returned to Chapel Hill. Do you think students weren’t told not to party? To tone it down a little this fall? Of course they were; they just didn’t care. And this is where the student newspaper and I part ways. Because the newspaper says this:
“University leadership should have expected students, many of whom are now living on their own for the first time, to be reckless. Reports of parties throughout the weekend come as no surprise. Though these students are not faultless, it was the University’s responsibility to disincentivize such gatherings by reconsidering its plans to operate in-person earlier on.”
In other words, kids will be kids, and the admins shouldn’t have trusted them to keep it together.
But these are college kids, not kindergartners. At what age can we expect young people to shoulder the burden of their own safety? At some point, the younger generations need to wake the fuck up and realize that they, too, are part of this unprecedented time. Unlike global warming, with COVID, these kids can’t just point to the older generations and say “look how much you fucked things up for us.” We’re all capable of spreading COVID—whether you’re Gen Z, millennial, or Gen Y, or one of the X-Men. Therefore, own the responsibility of your own safety. Don’t. Fucking. Party.
Yes, there will always be a disconnect between college students and the tweed-jacket-wearing elders who try to prevent them from overdosing on adderrall/tide pods. But we’ve known that forever. You can’t blame them for believing in your intelligence, guys. To say “well, there’s no chance these idiots can follow the rules, so let’s not even try to reopen this semester” is a sad indictment of your collective intellect.
It’s like when you go to your college health services place for a checkup, and they ask you how many alcoholic beverages you consume on a given night. When you lowball with twelve-ish, their eyes roll into the back of their head and they tell you you’re about to drop dead at any second. The reality, of course, is that everyone else drinks that much—more, even, and you get called a lightweight bitch quite often—and you’re just a small fish in a sea of binge drinkers. The health people are out of touch. They have no finger on the pulse of student life. They have no sense of kids’ desire to pollute and pickle their internal organs.
But that doesn’t mean the health people deserve the blame when some frat bro chokes on his own vomit. It doesn’t mean that the administration should have shut the whole school down because they couldn’t trust kids to drink safely.
“We’re angry — and we’re scared. We’re tired of the gaslighting, tired of the secrecy, tired of being treated like cash cows by a University with such blatant disregard for our lives,” the authors said.
Cash cows? Who the hell do you think you are, an athlete? Last I checked, there was no EA Sports NCAA Journalists 2020. They weren’t selling your replica iPads down at the campus store. Trust me—I think UNC would be just fine financially without your $9,000 in-state tuition.