As a transfer student, sometimes it feels like I was robbed of the “Carolina Experience.”
I know that I’m luckier than others — I got the chance to have one full semester of pre-pandemic normalcy of going to football games, eating at Lenoir and living on campus. Current first years and sophomores never got that luxury.
But at the same time, I’m angry.
How can an administration refuse to learn from its past mistakes? How can the University blatantly ignore the research that occurs on their very own campus in their decision making? How can the University begin this spring semester with the same — maybe even fewer — precautions as they did in August of 2020?
With closing isolation dorms, closing testing locations, reducing cleaning policies and limiting virtual learning options, it almost feels like we’re going backward. While cases of the omicron variant continue to rise, UNC continues filling stadiums for basketball games. It all seems like a sick joke.
This past week, I had a potential exposure to COVID-19. With my roommates gone, I could isolate and had access to a car, and was therefore in a privileged position. And still, after calling every pharmacy in a 15 mile radius, I could not get my hands on a rapid test. UNC, unlike other universities, has not made these readily available in situations like mine.
Communication between UNC and the community has been, per usual, subpar. I didn’t know until less than a week before returning whether I had to take a COVID-19 test to attend classes or not. UNC’s COVID-19 reporting dashboard reported its highest ever student case count on Jan. 4, and then was promptly paused until Jan. 10.