Give Mercer students an online option in the fall and safely continue their education

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Mercer University is opening up in less than a month and welcoming students from all over the country. The students are not given a choice of online or in person classes at the start of the year and there are already positive COVID cases on campus from the second summer session of classes. The school has laid out a plan to combat the virus that includes the capability to test 1,000 students daily, requiring masks indoors, and a quarantine dorm for students who do get infected.  The real problem isn’t their "plan" to respond, but the lack of foresight to allow students and professors the option to be fully online without being on campus. If the students move back onto campus in the fall there will be a devastating and deadly outbreak affecting not only the Mercer community, but the Macon community as well. Many students and professors have or live with those with underlying conditions and fear for their life to go back to school. The only options students are left with is to risk their life on campus for in-person classes or take a semester (or two, who knows) off from school. They are effectively forcing students to choose between getting the virus or quitting school. This petition is asking the school to re-evaluate giving students the option to continue classes in person, or online. They should not be forced to choose between their education and their life.