With 178 cases of COVID-19 connected to the return of students to Mount Pleasant, a Central Michigan University student group is calling for the cancelation of in-person classes.
Last week, CMU officials and the local health department said they’re monitoring cases but don’t yet see a need to move to online-only instruction.
The student group released demands and posted signs across campus on Monday.
The group is demanding that the university cancel in-person classes and reduce tuition as students move online. Signs posted on campus accused the university of putting profit over people.
Emily Jones is with the group Not Fired Up For Fall. She says the group has so far received 800 signatures on its petition to end in-person classes.
“While we know that suspending face to face classes is not a perfect solution and many other students will have other difficulties and struggles to face, ultimately we believe students' lives, faculty's lives, staff's lives, our Mount Pleasant community and our Native community as well, should be put over that,” she says.
Jones says the administration should have canceled classes from the start.
“I think it’s extremely naive for an administration to expect freshmen who lost out on their prom, lost out on their graduation. Seniors who are sacrificing their last year because of COVID, like myself, to come back and be expected to not go out and do things,” says Jones.
CMU this week began offering on-campus testing for the coronavirus. Jones says the university should have been offering testing from the moment classes started.
A university spokesperson said in a written statement that the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff remains its “top priority.”