Members of the University of Connecticut community predict the university will only remain open for in-person classes and residential students until mid-September, according to a poll conducted by The Daily Campus.
The poll, taken by a combined 1,360 people across Reddit and the UConn Buy or Sell Facebook group, found that 793 members of the UConn community think the university will only be open until mid-September. 373 voters think it will stay open until the end of September, 78 think it will be open until mid-October, 9 voters think it will be open until the end of October and 107 think UConn will remain open all semester.
“I voted for mid-September because cases are going up much more quickly than I thought they would,” Vivian Hudson, a first-semester psychology and music major said. “I was nervous once we hit 1% of the population positive because it seemed like a pretty significant milestone to reach so soon.”
Hudson said that during her time so far on campus, she has seen multiple gatherings near Mirror Lake, including some with students holding what appear to be cans of beer in their hands.
“I reported what I saw but there’s not much that can really be done about it,” Hudson said. “People are being so reckless and that is the reason why I think cases will continue to rise at this rate until we are sent off of campus.”
The poll shows 85% of voters don’t think UConn will be open later than the end of September. Only about 7% think the university will remain open through October.
A 2018 UConn graduate, who prefers to be identified by their initials F.I., thinks UConn will stay open until the end of September and that the unknown timeline of the semester has a correlation to the university reaching out to alumni for donations.
“I would say mid-September, but I feel like UConn has to delay [closing] a little so students won’t protest them charging regular on-campus rates [with] classes being back online,” F.I. said.
The alumnus described this idea as “mind boggling,” but they aren’t surprised.
“They’ve asked me for money as an alumni but I paid my dues in full so hopefully this leech finally gets off my back,” F.I. said. “It’s like being charged for dessert at a restaurant you never went to.”
An anonymous residential student detailed their theory that described residential students starting the semester very cautious, but then commuters and staff members traveling onto campus spreading COVID-19.
“During the first two weeks I believe most of the 5,000 on-campus residents are going to follow quarantine and try to avoid [COVID-19] as much as possible,” the anonymous student said. “However during the first week on campus, both commuters and staff members are going to be traveling from their hometowns onto campus to go to classes. This will lead to maybe a dozen or more students and staff that get [COVID-19] just on the way to school to start spreading it unintentionally on campus.”
The student believes the number of cases on campus will spike three or four weeks into classes, and this will cause the university to send students home.
“This will of course lead to kids who get [COVID-19] and didn’t show symptoms yet start to spread the virus in their local towns causing massive spikes in Connecticut.”
After students are sent home, the anonymous student predicts UConn will only refund residential students half of their housing and meal plans, “because the school wants to keep as much of our money as possible.”
A commuter from the Storrs area, who wishes to remain anonymous, was part of the 5% of voters who think UConn will allow residential students and in-person classes to continue until mid-October.
“From what I’ve seen while driving through campus, the parking lots are empty, and I think many students have made a smart choice to stay at home and keep themselves and others safe,” the commuter said. “If that trend continues, I think residential students taking in-person classes will be able to have a successful semester.”
The commuter pointed to the faculty and staff who are working hard to make sure the campus stays safe.
“However, if we see an uptick of cases brought onto campus, and if these cases exceed the university’s sick student bed capacity, I can imagine that residents would have to return [home] by mid-October.”