The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M is acting like COVID-19 is over

Photo by Creative Commons

Opinion writer Ozioma Mgbahurike discusses Texas A&M’s response to COVID-19 and suggests a need for greater concern. 

College Station, I have taken you for granted. I had only a taste of true college life before COVID-19 snatched it away and turned our traditional way of school into nothing but virtual learning and Zoom hangouts. That experience is one I never want to relive again, and being back for in-person classes this fall has been a blessing. Nevertheless, Texas A&M’s carefree approach to the pandemic is only hiding the problem rather than addressing it.

A&M is limited in its actions due to the lack of care shown by the Texas government regarding the fight against COVID-19. Gov. Greg Abbott has gone out of his way to ensure Texas loses its battle against the virus. Abbott had the opportunity to care for his constituents in a time when hospitals were overcrowded due to the rise of the new delta variant and children too young to get vaccinated were returning to school. Despite all of the data presented to him, he enacted an executive order to ban mask mandates or vaccination requirements for public schools. 

Be that as it may, the safety and well-being of the faculty and staff should always be the university’s primary concern. However, from the looks of it, that is not the case. In fact, the rules incentivize those who do not get tested because of the lack of care given for those who test positive. For example, a student who tests positive or comes in contact with someone who tests positive has to quarantine for ten days. The problem that follows is that the unfortunate student is left hanging out to dry during the quarantine process. Professors are not allowed to teach their lectures entirely remotely unless approved by their dean under certain conditions.  Thus, students either have to get their notes from their peers or make it up some other time. The problem here is that, for students like me in STEM-related classes, reading notes does not help in mastering the class material. Sure, we previously had to miss classes due to illness before the pandemic, but now that we have a simple solution of live streaming lectures, why ignore it now? 

Furthermore, the most significant incentive for people not to get tested is how the current rules affect students that live on campus and test positive. The lack of empathy shown to these students is so shocking that it is almost satirical. Any on-campus student who tests positive and lives within five hours may be asked to return home or find somewhere else to quarantine. The idea that a student that is sick is then sent home to possibly infect their loved ones because A&M refuses to be liable for anything is extremely embarrassing. It stresses the point that students that go here are nothing but future tuition payments and once it’s been paid, there’s no use for us anymore. 

A&M still has the opportunity to salvage what is left of the semester and the next before this situation becomes more tragic than it already is. We have already lost a student this semester, and there has not been a single change in the rules set in place. It is shocking that our lives are seen as expendable by the administration, and A&M should reconsider its current policies before we see a sharp rise in the names of students honored at Silver Taps.

Ozioma Mgbahurike is an electrical engineering junior and opinion writer for The Battalion

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