Petition for Stanford Administration to Take Action against On-Campus Spread of COVID-19

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Petition for Stanford Administration to Take Action against On-Campus Spread of COVID-19

The highly transmittable Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a threat to the health and well being of the Stanford University student body and staff members, and Stanford needs to take action to prevent on-campus spread.

As of March 2nd, 2020, a total of 9 cases have been reported in Santa Clara County. Palo Alto Unified disinfected two schools after learning that a parent was exposed to the virus. The actual number of cases might be higher, as the CDC had not provided sufficient test kits, and had only recently broadened the criteria for testing of the virus. We are expected to see a surge of cases countrywide - it is not a matter of if, but when. 

The Stanford Campus is densely populated, where many people eat, live and go to class together. If Stanford University hesitates to take immediate and appropriate actions to protect its 16520 students and 14060 faculty and staff members, COVID-19 will have a great potential to spread throughout the campus, jeopardizing the lives of us all. 

Stanford’s effort to educate students on the severity of the COVID-19 and to prevent the spread on campus is deficient at best. Previously, most cautions students receive are about foreign travel; these letters treat COVID-19 as a foreign instead of domestic issue. That is no longer the case; the continual portrayal of coronavirus as a foreign but not domestic issue feeds into the policing of, discrimination against, and alienation towards Asian and Asian American bodies. Even though Vaden lists “avoid close contact” with those with cold or flu symptoms as a prevention method for coronavirus, we urge Stanford to recognize its structural limits, such as attendance requirements and dorm structure, which make this unrealistic to do. 

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell, please listen to the students. Please respond to our following demands:

  1. Lift the structural barriers that prevent people from protecting themselves from coronavirus.
  2. Review and take into account our proposed draft of the contingency plan, which can be found at here
  3. Work with Vaden Health Center, R&DE, ASSU and academic departments etc. to come up with a holistic and detailed contingency plan, accessible to all Stanford affiliates.
  4. Enforce information transparency about possible and confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus, while ensuring student privacy by releasing aggregate and anonymized data.
  5. Staunchly continue its effort against discrimination or hate speech. Continue to send the message that skin color, race, ethnicity or national origin does not spread coronavirus.