As the first month of classes comes to a close, processes regarding COVID-19 continue to change. The Truman State University administration has released a total of 13 statements regarding the virus and the affected university’s policies since the beginning of the pandemic in January; the latest update was delivered Aug. 20. Throughout these formal announcements, University expectations regarding student responsibility have not been made clear and further confusion surrounds the #CampusClear app’s role in Truman’s plan.
In the announcement on Aug. 20, Truman stated, “As communicated previously, anyone living, learning and working on our Truman campus is required to complete daily symptom checks during the fall semester. To make this process easier, Truman has implemented the self-screening app #CampusClear. This app allows you to quickly report your health status before going to class or coming to campus. Using the #CampusClear app is voluntary and ready for you to use today.”
While this statement dictates the requirement of each person to check their symptoms each day, the use of the promoted app, #CampusClear, is not mandatory. Therefore, Truman has decided to leave daily symptom checks up to the discretion of the individual. By not enforcing daily symptom checks in a streamlined, mandatory way, Truman has failed to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff. We, The Index Editorial Board, believe the daily use of the #CampusClear app should be mandatory for any person who wishes to be on Truman’s campus, and if such a requirement is not enforced, we believe the University should consider switching to an online learning format for the remainder of the semester.
Without enforcing the expectation that each individual completes daily symptom checks before coming to Truman’s campus, the University has nullified any protection such expectations could have offered. While many people are practicing social distancing, wearing masks and attempting to stay mindful and respectful of others, it is clear that some people are not taking these precautions. Yet, Truman has not put any effort into enforcing such precautions for the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
Truman needs to put a little more bite behind its bark and either strictly enforce the requirement of daily symptom checks in a traceable way, or allow its students to study in their own homes. Either way, the University has to ensure that every Bulldog stays safe. As of right now, Truman’s indecision has communicated that its leaders care more about avoiding an argument than they do about the safety of students, faculty and staff.