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New COVID Guidelines Asking All Students to Return to Campus and Sit Very, Very Still


Photo by Shoshi Wintman / The Daily Pennsylvanian

University administrators released a statement to the Penn community this past Friday with an updated social compact for this fall’s on-campus programing. Despite unprecedented surges in COVID-19 cases this summer, the University is moving forward with their plans for an on-campus fall. Despite recommendations from epidemiologists for frequent and randomized testing, the school is moving forward with guidelines that, primarily, rest on a request for all students to, “sit very, very still.”

Since the release of the updated guidelines, some have called into question whether relying on students to sit very still is an appropriate plan for opening up campus. 

“As a university we are opening up and taking on the risk of COVID for our students," said Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President. "We wanted to ensure they will be receiving their full $60,000 worth of experience, as the tuition for this unprecedented year is, obviously, still non-negotiable. Given the risk we’re taking on, and the COVID tests we couldn’t come up with, we think it’s not too much to ask that our students spend their 4-5 months on campus in their dorm rooms trying not to breathe too much."

In accordance with VP Carnaroli’s statement, Penn will be supplying little to no testing after students’ first day back on campus. Penn has also committed to not providing in-person classes or any kind of thoughtful in-person programming. The administration, however, is doubling down on asking students to return to campus with, “open hearts, a desire for fun, and a desire — no, commitment — to staying absolutely motionless for a considerable amount of time in accordance with our compact.”

According to an anonymous source, the administration is very proud of this plan that they worked very hard on.

“Yes, it was us who asked our students back to campus, but whatever outbreak happens here is on them," said Amy Gutmann. "If they start demanding that they have human contact while on campus, well, I’ll just say, they’re more selfish than we thought." 

"This is an issue of priorities," she continued in a statement to Under the Button. "Our priority as an administration is to get our students back to campus, no matter the cost — an admirable goal. The priority of our students seems to be to breathe in the presence of at least one other person while in Philly, which is, frankly, selfish and unacceptable.”

Despite the expectations of stillness, students are committed to trying to find a safe way to have some social contact after moving back to Philadelphia.

“I bought a whole tub of alcohol wipes,” Jeffree Wilson (W ‘21) told reporters. “The countertops in my house will be lick-able. Guests probably shouldn’t lick the air though. The air’s probably going to have COVID.”