Elected student government leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are asking that the school move to an all-virtual format, amid other requests, saying it is “disappointed with the University’s leadership in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In a letter, later published by WKOW news, the Associated Students of Madison wrote, “The University must understand that we are in the midst of a global pandemic that is taking lives. The only acceptable number of student deaths is zero. Every single day that in-person instruction resumes is an unnecessary risk for the lives of students, staff, faculty, and those in the Madison community.”
The group’s letter came in response to the university Chancellor Dr. Rebecca Blank’s previous letter asking that students limit their exposure to one another for two weeks following a rise in campus infections. In that letter, Blank also announced that the university would be cancelling all in-person social events, closing RecWell facilities, banning visitors to residence halls and making union dining spaces carry-out only.
But the student leaders say that isn’t enough.
“We do support the University’s decision to cancel all in-person social and student organization events, restrict visitors in the residence halls, require masks at all times, and close RecWell facilities,” wrote the student group. “However, a lot more can be done to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus, such as moving to an all-virtual format, supporting student workers financially so they do not have to get other jobs, and including student voices in the decision-making process.”