Reopen UMass Amherst for the Spring 2021 Semester

Reopen UMass Amherst for the Spring 2021 Semester

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Dylan Jacobs started this petition to University of Massachusetts Amherst

On August 6th, 2020, undergraduates at The University of Massachusetts Amherst we informed by the university that they would no longer be allowed to live on campus for the fall 2020 semester. This announcement came a day after students picked their move-in dates, and a week before students were supposed to arrive on campus. Students learned in the following weeks that the sudden cancellation was caused pressure from certain Amherst residents and threats from the RAPM Union.

As a result of the sudden closure, students are being forced to attend all classes remotely, on outdated technology that crashed at least three times for several hours during the first week of classes. Tuition was not reduced as a result of the closure, forcing thousands of undergraduates to pay full price for a subpar educational experience. Freshman aren't able to form connections with their peers, and many students report feeling isolated and lonely, without any support from the university. Doctors have proven that the lockdown has increased rates of depression, suicide, and mental illness in students

Hundreds of schools have opened throughout the United States, offering in-person instruction and going above and beyond to provide the best experience possible for their students. Some of these schools have had isolated COVID-19 cases which did not result in community spread, showing that is safe to reopen given the current state of the virus.

In the Spring, the university must do what is best for the 30,000 undergraduates. They should welcome all undergraduate students back to campus with appropriate precautions, and allow the RAs and PMs to choose either to work on campus or resign. The residents of Amherst must accept that they live in a college town, and science, statistics, and education must take priority over their irrational animosity towards college students and the university.

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