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In leaning toward reopening, colleges are pushing our health to the edge

Boston College is among area institutions that intend to return to campus in the fall.
Boston College is among area institutions that intend to return to campus in the fall.Blake Nissen for the Boston Globe

As an adjunct professor of writing at Boston College for more than 12 years, I am appalled by the speed and stubborn irresponsibility with which BC has announced plans for faculty, students, and staff, unless exempted, to return to campus in August.

Have we not watched the virus rear its head again, state by state? Call it “quarantine fatigue,” or hubris, or plain stupidity, but Americans everywhere are gathering together, and the rates of COVID-19 are charting higher than the number of TikTok videos my students watch.

Now let’s get thousands of college students together, and just see if the rates will rise on campuses. Guess what? They will. Asking college students to keep from socializing and to follow a set of specific guidelines day in and day out is unrealistic and asinine.


Some may argue that young adults are relatively low risk, but many professors and staff are not. Think of people such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and janitorial staff — people who work hard for the benefit of the community and who would be victims here.

In making this rash and risky decision, colleges and universities are contributing to the spread of the virus, the burden of health care workers, and the health of the surrounding communities, not to mention the well-being of everyone involved, including adjuncts, who work at multiple schools, and for what? For what makes the world go round: tuition money, housing money, and not taking a hit in enrollment.

Colleges and universities across the country need to set an example, not become an example — of how this all went wrong, again.

Brian Sousa