Heavy Student Feelings Amidst Covid Outbreak

Zack Robie, Staff Writer

Linfield’s students on the McMinnville campus have come together through their shared reactions of rage, disappointment, and fear. Students have continued to bond through the extreme feelings experienced throughout the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Hewitt hall. 

Numbers from administration dated February 9, 2021 report 41 total cases on campus since the beginning of spring semester, with 18 cases having been since the last report on February 1. In response to this increase in cases, Linfield enacted a pause system, effectively shutting down campus for four days in order to correct the issues at hand. 

The student population has made their opinions clear, turning to social media platforms like Instagram to post rants and criticisms of the leadership on campus. Students, particularly those who have been taking the COVID restrictions as seriously as possible, have vocalized their disappointment with the administration via their response to a very serious issue. The average effective quarantine period for this virus is anywhere from 10-14 days minimum. The administration’s choice to enact such a short seclusion period for the students who have been infected has been met with nothing short of an enraged response. 

The students’ incredibly vital opinions regarding Linfield’s regular and emergency policies have united a community in sorrow and rage, hoping for a better administrational response to present and future outbreaks. 

Linfield’s atrocious responses to the coronavirus began with the students’ move-in period, as a mass email was sent to teachers listing the names of those students who were not able to receive their first COVID test prior to their arrival to campus (whether for locational unavailability, too high a cost, no insurance, etc.). Following this incident came knowledge from anonymous professors, alerting students to the fact that teacher’s required 2-4 individual doctor’s notes in order to teach in a completely remote method. 

Similarly, requests to teach remotely were only considered when the professor themself had a preexisting condition; it does not matter to Linfield whether or not the family or household members of professors’ homes are compromised—they are still forced to teach in person, possibly expose themselves to this deadly virus, and return home to their compromised loved ones. Subsequently, Linfield will not pay for nor do they plan to test faculty for the virus.

There is a notion hanging heavily in the air around campus that if you are to speak up or do what is clearly right, as a professor, you can and will be fired as a result of your actions, regardless of how right they may be morally. 

The student community has acknowledged these realities of living on campus, and being practically forced to live in this high-risk bubble. The rage, disappointment, and sorrow have united students who are passionate about the issue and who are criticizing the administration for the irresponsible, money-grabbing tactics they have employed. It is incredibly comforting, in the toughest of times, to see a community united when the administration ruling over them so clearly values money over student lives.