The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Students react to health protocols, express concern over lack of adherence

| Tuesday, August 18, 2020

After the tri-campus community’s first week of classes, many students have seen discrepancies between the protocols in place and practices of the student bodies. 

The University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College have all created a set of guidelines and outlined rules to ensure the safety of everyone on each campus.

While the administrations have enacted these policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their students and staff, many of the measures rely on the actions of the student body, as outlined by the administrations several times over the past few weeks, including a recent request from SMC interim vice president for student affairs Gloria Roldán Jenkins. 

The numerous health policies have required students to adjust daily habits. Saint Mary’s senior Jackie Rojas said she has seen students not following the policies.

“People just usually forget,” she said. “If they are going quickly to the restroom or quickly out of their room they forget…or sometimes they probably just think, like, no one will see them.”

Notre Dame sophomore Nick Crookston also noted seeing students not adhering to health guidelines.

“You would think that in the midst of this major pandemic grown adult students could show a level of common sense and concern for our community’s most vulnerable and adhere to the very simple guidelines of handwashing, social distancing and the most simple of them all — wearing a mask,” he said in an interview conducted over text. 

Crookston also expressed concern whether or not the protocols are enough.

“As for the current policies,” he said. “I think the University has done enough to prepare us for the semester, but they are simply not doing enough to keep us here.”

Crookston said he thought the University should do more in terms of disciplinary actions against non-compliant members of the community.

“If the University wants to keep us here, and most importantly protect the lives of our immunocompromised brothers and sisters, they’re going to have to draw some lines,” he said. “Otherwise, the consequences are going to be much more grave than an OCS strike, and simply put, that’s going to be on the conscience of these irresponsible individuals who can’t seem to see past the tip of their nose and get the big picture of the reality that we are living through together.”

Aranza Sierra, a sophomore at SMC and a student at ND through the dual engineering program, expressed similar concern in a text interview. 

“I believe ND is not doing enough,” she said. “I feel like they should be honest with themselves and should have been honest with themselves before returning everyone on campus.”

Sierra questioned the University’s priorities.

”I think Notre Dame should have reevaluated their priorities, because the way it seems and the way it has always seen is that they only want the students’ money, and that’s what it’s always been about.”

With the possibility of contracting the virus, Rojas expressed her discomfort at times on campus when students choose to not follow the rules and put everyone at risk.

“We obviously have a shared restroom on this hallway and we have seen many girls go out to parties and then they live in this hallway and if they happen to get the virus and they are using the same restrooms as we are it is very concerning because they are putting the whole floor in danger because we are sharing that space,” she said.

As of Monday, Aug. 17, Notre Dame has reported 58 confirmed COVID-19 cases and SMC has reported two

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About Crystal Ramirez

Contact Crystal