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An Open Letter to NMSU SAS and Dean of Students

 

 

To Schools and Politicians choosing to ignore the facts,

           We are in a pandemic. The meaning of the word is a frightening implication. We are not safe to go outside, we are not safe to visit the supermarket, we are not safe to be with friends or to go get a beer. So, what makes you think it is safe to have in person classes? There are a few exceptions to every situation, however the sheer idea of returning to in person classes is very concerning. We keep thinking about student safety; however, we keep missing the real problem with returning to school. Students have families and often live with them, even while they are a University Student. Some of these family homes are multigenerational or have cancer patients, survivors of drastic illness, people with diabetes, in other words, immunocompromised. These people live with their families and you never know how many students have family members who are immunocompromised. It is not just the students and faculty you are putting at risk by having in person classes, you are also risking their families, their loved ones. When you count cases, you are ignoring the people we leave at home. With this in mind, wouldn't it be obvious that some of your students are also immunocompromised?

           In the case where your immunocompromised students are requesting an exemption to be able to attend in person classes remotely:

What policies do you have in place that determine the weight of documentation for student exemption? What is the minimum and maximum amount of weight of documentation needed? What kind of letter do you need and from whom? It is our understanding, from CDC guidelines, that a person with preexisting conditions are immunocompromised. There is no exception to this, there are no special cases and there are no guidelines telling you to RISK STUDENT LIVES. There should be NO question on the weight of one's documentation on the subject. The fact that you are questioning this documentation is a signal to one that you have no care whatsoever for the health of the student body of the United States. Nor do you have an understanding of what it means to be immunocompromised.

           It is my recommendation that you do some research about what it means to be immunocompromised during a pandemic before you come to any further conclusion. I strongly encourage you to cease putting up barriers for students to receive an exemption for COVID_19. It honestly baffles me that there is a procedure to begin with considering the death rate and transmission rate of this virus, especially on the disabled and immunocompromised population. 

In addition, I suggest that the university sends daily updates to the student body of positive cases among the student body. Stop hiding the facts under your desk and put it out in the open. This is information we have a right to, this is something we need, this is something that absolutely should not be covered up. I urge you to keep your student body informed so that we can make personal decisions to protect NOT ONLY OURSELVES, but each other, and our loved ones.

Stop telling people who are fighting you to come back later. We are living in a time where the norm is changing. We are living in a time when it is now or never. Students cannot come back to school later. They're here now, accommodate them.

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