Dr Schlissel still talks about testing as just being a key tool in a combination of actions needed to control the virus, but he has come, he said, to see its importance in “reassuring” the community. When classes resume in 2021, the university will de-densify the dormitories and step up testing. Only around 3,000 students will be allowed to return to university accommodation, and anyone who arrives on campus, symptomatic or not, will need to be cleared via a saliva-based test treated by a start-up founded by the faculty in Ann Arbor.
“If they don’t,” Dr Schlissel said, “we’ll deactivate their ID cards.”
The downsizing pleased professors, but shocked undergraduates and their parents. More than 1,500 angry parents have signed a petition protesting the university’s short notice to cancel the spring housing contracts. If the university does not “reverse its drastic decision to close the dormitories,” she says, parents want a reduction.
“He should say, ‘Look, we fucked up’ and apologize to all of us,” said Amy Tara Koch, a Chicago writer and former Michigan student whose daughter, a rookie, demolished an apartment last week. for spring to Ann Tonnelle. “And then give a tuition allowance. Out-of-state tuition fees are, for example, $ 50,000. “
The disappointment was particularly sharp, other parents said, as Michigan’s reputation for academic excellence had led them to expect a cutting edge response to the crisis.
“It‘s too little, too late,” said Sherry Levine, a teacher from Rye Brook, NY, whose son, a junior, lives in a fraternity house in Ann Arbor and who believes the response to the pandemic of university all year has only been “responsive.”
Dr Schlissel said the university had refunded accommodation deposits for the spring, offered lower rates for double rooms to students spending the spring in single rooms and had already “apologized profusely.” And, he noted, not all of the fall semester lessons were negative.
“The students are getting on with their education, they’re going to get credits for the semester, they’re going to graduate from Michigan and they’re doing it in a really tough environment,” he said. “Everyone is doing their best.”