Baylor: Protect High Risk Students and Faculty

Baylor: Protect High Risk Students and Faculty

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
madi snow started this petition to Baylor University

At the start of the spring 2022 semester, Baylor announced it would be returning to classes fully in person despite the rapidly developing COVID-19 Omicron surge. In making that decision, the university abandoned two policies that could have shielded their high risk students, faculty, and staff from some of the brunt of that decision:

1. Baylor University restored its pre-pandemic attendance policy, making no exceptions for students who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed and need to quarantine. At present, any student attending fewer than 75% of a course automatically receives no credit. This amounts to an average of 3 to 6 absences in most courses. 

2. Baylor University is now making no allowance for their faculty or students to complete their classroom functions online, a departure from their policies at the previous all-time high of case reporting. This option was offered pre-vaccine, and the new policy is being framed as reasonable in light of decreased mortality and reportedly mild cases. Forgotten here is the reality that many high risk people have an insufficient immunoresponse to the vaccine, or commorbidities that would exacerbate even a mild case of COVID-19 to be dangerous. Additionally, high risk people often also experience longer recovery times after contracting COVID-19 and risk further damage if they resume normal activities too soon. These issues are relevant both in relation to the sustained risk of even "mild cases" of COVID-19 to certain populations, and in relation to the removal of attendance forgiveness policies.

As it stands now, cases stand well above the average from Fall 2021. High risk people, and those that live with and care for them, are forced into classrooms with no distancing policies, no widespread campus guidance on what kinds of masks best stop the spread of the Omicron variant, and no way to protect themselves without abandoning on their educations and careers. Although less convenient than the traditional classroom structure, Baylor has shown it has the infrastructure to host classes virtually and in the hybrid format. After four semesters of an adjusted attendance policy that allowed people to quarantine and heal with whatever time they needed, the university is entirely capable of amending the attendance policy once again. 

**If you are a high risk member of the Baylor community and want to share about your current needs and experience, take a minute to fill out this form: https://forms.gle/Hmzv8rxiGkreqGsm9

Links to university announcements of these policies: https://www.baylor.edu/coronavirus/news.php?action=story&story=226002
https://www.baylor.edu/coronavirus/news.php?action=story&story=226029

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!