Suspend all Juilliard's non-essential classroom activities amid COVID-19

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Suspend all Juilliard's non-essential classroom activities amid COVID-19

This petition made change with 72 supporters!
A Student started this petition to Juilliard school officials

As students of the Juilliard school, we are deeply concerned with the well-being of our community. As we closely monitor the situation concerning the COVID-19 virus in NYC as well as the globe, we are asking school administrations to consider suspending all non-essential classroom meetings after spring break, replacing them with online classes.

The COVID-19 virus, as news illustrate, is shown to be a serious social and medical concern for reasons including its long incubation period as well as high degree of infectiousness. Therefore, it is a mistake to view it as another kind of seasonal flu. We must take measures combating the virus before situation gets out of control, not after.

Our school is located in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, exhibiting a high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, many of our community members commute via public transportation, further adding to the risk. In other words, Juilliard is, as an inseparable part of NYC, highly integrated into its surroundings. It is not advisable to wait until our school's first confirmed case before taking actions.

By now, many other institutions in New York including Columbia and Fordham have taken measures to prepare for transitions into online classes.

Meanwhile, our school has the following additional reasons to take more precautionary measures than any other institutions, amid the COVID-19 spread:

  • Compact campus. We have a particularly compact campus and almost all school activities take place within one building. As we see from the cruise ship cases (in particular, in the case of the Diamond Princess, the reported number shows that at least "696 out of the 3,711 passengers and crew were infected", reaching an alarming ratio of 19%), the COVID-19 virus is extremely contagious in environments where airflow is limited.
  • Elderly people and kids. Our school is unique in that we have evening division classes as well as pre-college classes. We need to take extra care of elderly people and kids without any excuse. Equally importantly, many of our faculty members are elderly. The COVID-19 virus is shown to be particularly concerning to the elderly population.
  • Travel. Unlike other schools, we are currently in the middle of the spring break. As most of our students and faculty members are artists, we are frequent travelers. Traveling brings additional risk to exposing the entire school to the virus, as the outbreak now takes place in many popular traveling destinations around the globe.

Combining all aforementioned reasons, please seriously consider suspending all non-essential classroom activities and adopting online classes as a viable alternative strategy.

God bless us all,

A community member of the Juilliard school

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