Sam Virzi: Universities may play a role in ‘farce’

  • People walk on campus at San Diego State University in San Diego Sept. 2.  AP

Published: 9/15/2020 4:19:07 PM

I read Mr. Grincewicz’s letter (“Students will fail pandemic course,” Sept. 4) and want to ask him to look at the issue from the other end of the telescope. Imagine you’re an administrator at a university in this situation. You have known for months that there’s no safe way to let students back on campus, but you’re doing it anyway.

There’s no pedagogical reason to hold in-person classes during a pandemic, but you’re doing it anyway. You know students will be coming to campus having not socialized with nearly anyone for the second half of spring semester and the entire summer. If you suspend people for going out and partying, you get to keep their money. If a couple parties get busted up before add-drop, you gain a useful scapegoat if you have to, say, shut everything down as soon as nobody can refund their tuition.

This is only possible if people are ready to accept an inevitable outbreak as the result of a few bad apples. We can’t allow universities to obscure their role in orchestrating this farce.

Sam Virzi


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