Last week, we reported that UNC System President Peter Hans pinned the blame for recent campus outbreaks on students “behaving irresponsibly,” rather than, uh, his decision to hold in-person classes and not shut down Greek life activities.
After we published the article, the UNC System’s Associate VP for Media Relations Josh Ellis called our headline “extremely misleading” in an email, saying it made it sound like Hans blamed all the students. (We respectfully disagree: We didn’t say how many students he blamed, only that he blamed students).
On Facebook, user Patrick Murphy came to Hans’s defense.
“That’s an awful lot of snark to make the point that universities should have known better than to expect students to behave responsibly,” Murphy wrote. “I don’t think it was unreasonable to expect students would rise to the occasion or to be disappointed for the many that did to now suffer the consequences because of those who behaved irresponsibly.
“I was in a high rise dorm at UNC many years ago,” responded Andrew Snee. “The rooms are arranged four around a bathroom. That’s seven people each person is unavoidably exposed to. Most residents have to take the elevator. The only place to eat within walking distance is the dining hall. You can’t expect people to lock themselves into a single room with one other person every time they aren’t in class. The university attempted in person classes knowing this would happen because they feared students would take a year off if they were told all classes would be online.”
In other highly predictable pandemic news: NC State abruptly went remote after placing about 500 students in quarantine or isolation due to exposure to COVID.
“It’s almost….. as if we all knew…… this was going to happen!!!” Jesús Gutiérrez wrote on Facebook.
“Lol,” Korey Sullivan responded. “but who really ever believed a couple hundred 18 year olds who have been waiting their whole lives to be on their own and just got done living with their parents in lockdown were going to live in the same building and not pass this around….?”
Comment on this story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.