On the university’s COVID-19 response

We, the editorial board of The Brandeis Hoot, feel the weight of the impact of the university’s decision to transition to online learning. This change to our lives and our college careers will no doubt affect our memory of Brandeis and our time here, especially for the Class of 2020 as they approach graduation. The sadness and anger that students feel for the loss of events, practices and performances is undeniable. So much work and effort was put into these endeavors, and we respect how difficult it is to have to give up on them.

However, we have witnessed a lot of blaming—toward administration and fellow students. We know that it is a stressful time, but we hope that students can come together and try to understand both what the administration is doing and that it is no one’s fault. This global pandemic was unforeseen, and we believe the administration is doing what they think is best. This was going to happen no matter what, as Brandeis followed the actions of other schools across the state, the country and the world in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.  

The impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are real. As of publication time, there were 134,681 coronavirus cases, with at least 1,631 cases confirmed in the U.S. The actions of schools around the country and at Brandeis are not overreactions, and the measures that various authorities have taken to prevent the spread of the disease are necessary. And even if they weren’t, Brandeis administration essentially did not have any other choice but to shut down considering pressures from parents, donors and other universities. There are always things the administration could have done better—three separate three-day breaks are just confusing—but in comparison to other schools in the greater Boston area, Brandeis is giving more time. More time to its students to figure out housing and more time to its faculty to prepare for moving classes online—a large shift, especially for smaller classes in the humanities and the fine arts. 

We, especially our four graduating seniors, appreciate having a week and a half to let the news sink in and seek closure. The opportunity to say our final goodbyes makes it a little easier to leave the friends and professors with whom we have built relationships. We are thankful for the way that the Brandeis administration handled this stressful situation, though we are sad to leave this campus earlier than we ever thought we would.

Editor’s Note: Editors Rachel Saal, Sabrina Chow and Sasha Skarboviychuk did not contribute to this editorial.

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