The Case to be On-Campus

In early January, a petition calling for the extension of online classes of quarter 2 began making its way around social media. We fundamentally disagreed with such an attempt, so we created a counter petition, one which argued for the return of students for the remainder of quarter 2 and for the second semester of the school year. We felt that another viewpoint needed to be represented in response to the other petition.
We understand that there are risks that come with this virus, and in activities that we engage in everyday. We accept these risks and understand that while at school, and even while being home we might contract COVID. This virus does not control us and that is why we wanted to push for a return to school. We have already given up half of the spring semester last year, and we have given up parts of our fall semester due to this virus. Sports have been cancelled and seasons have been moved with no guarantee that they will actually happen. We have been told to wait it out since last March, and we felt that we’ve waited long enough. Kids of all ages learn better and retain more information when learning and instruction are in person. Online courses allow students to become distracted and not focus during class with the options of muting your mic and turning off your screen. There is little accountability. We are also paying thousands of dollars to attend Luther for the “experience” which is why many of us students chose to attend this school. However, when you are learning online either at school or at home, there is no experience.
In our petition, we wanted to focus on facts and data that we feel were being overlooked. Although COVID-19 is a contagious disease with some unpleasant side-effects, the mortality rates in young people are extremely low. According to the CDC, the death rate for people ages 15 to 24 is 7.8×10-5, 1.1×10-5% for 35 to 44 year olds, and only 2.1×10-3 % for 65 to 74 year olds. We believe that, based on the CDC data, the chances of dying from this disease are low, and having online classes for the remainder of the second quarter is unnecessary. Along with death rates, suicide rates and cases of depression and other mental diseases have risen over the course of the pandemic. This increase in suicide rates is yet another reason to allow students to return to campus and work toward as much of a normal environment as possible. Students who are forced to take online classes are more likely to fail those classes when compared to their in-class learning peers. This is seen in counties and cities across the US. All sources and statistics are provided in the petition.
We believe that people have the choice to learn in person or on-line. We believe that these choices are not to be made by the administration, but should be left in the hands of the students, who pay to attend this college, and in the hands of the professors and faculty. Immunocompromised students and staff can make the decision to stay home, while those without health concerns should not be discouraged from attending in-person classes. We believe that this virus exists, however, the current portrayal of this disease is being done in a way to promote fear-mongering. Death and illness have been part of human life for as long as humans have existed. COVID-19 is another illness with harmful side effects, but we believe that this virus does not rule us.

For more information regarding this petition, or to sign it, please contact:
Adam Burdzy ([email protected])
Svea Smith ([email protected]).

* The authors do not wish to share the signature count at this time.

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