Students came to campus five weeks ago, wary of how well Wooster was prepared to handle students who would openly defy the COVID-19 guidelines. For the Fall 2020 semester, Wooster was a unique experiment of COVID-ian proportions. Many rules were set. Many rules were broken. Hardly anyone suffered consequences. I have seen students, often members of sports teams, would congregate in large groups, refuse to wear masks and frequently leave campus (in some incidents heading to Akron) for parties. Naturally, after months of this disgusting and selfish behavior, COVID cases on campus skyrocketed, and many Scots headed home.
Some things are different this semester. The College has upped their vigilance on COVID spread, mandating weekly COVID tests. There are more rules, more information and more of a solid framework for how to handle quarantine. But some things are very much the same.
The enforcement of these rules — or lack thereof — are going to be the coffin in whichWooster dooms its students. I have seen people who are breaking the rules not receive anyconsequences — time and time again. The students who do so are usually repeat offenders, but does campus security or the College seem to care? No. In addition to last semester’s usual guideline breaches, I have observed that some people are now deliberately skipping testing. Security needs to start taking these issues seriously, because they are blatantly putting the student body in danger by not properly addressing the rampant flaunting of restrictions. I, a member of the C.O.W. student body, call upon Sarah Bolton and campus security to start punishing students the FIRST time that they purposely and knowingly put students in danger. If a person is capable of breaking the rules once, they will likely do it again.
These issues are widespread, and that makes the lackluster response from the College even worse. Students are unknowingly witnessing an increasing number of coronavirus cases slowly rise above their heads, preparing to soak the campus in physical danger. The updates that we receive from the College are helpful, but will grow in inaccuracy if people are allowed to break the rules under the radar. Without reliable measurements of the public safety situation, COVID will spread unchecked, which means Wooster will be breaking its own rules. At the end of the Community Care Agreement, the conclusion reads, “I understand that my failure to comply with these necessary health and safety measures will result in my referral to existing College conduct processes.” If security does not start taking these events seriously and punishing students who do not care about keeping themselves and others safe, the campus will close down again and another semester will be ruined.