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Texas A&M University students push for COVID safety measures

By staff

Texas students demand COVID safety measures.

College Station, TX – Students at Texas A&M University gathered in a silent sit-in on January 28 for improved COVID-19 policies on campus. The coalition, consisting of individuals and organizations such as Grad Aggies for Worker Safety (GAWS), Feminism4Aggies and TAMU Students for a Democratic Society, organized the protest in solidarity with the students of the University of North Texas, who were also calling for improved COVID-19 policies at universities across Texas.

Participating students held signs with demands, statements about the TAMU student who died of COVID-19 complications, and a QR code linked to the coalition’s petition in the Academic Plaza, a highly trafficked courtyard in the center of the campus.

The coalition’s demands are increasing mandatory testing on campus, an online option for classes, and better housing accommodations for students that test positive for COVID-19. Currently, TAMU does not require any testing for students, including when students return to campus from breaks or when they have close contact with someone who is known to have the virus. Professors are not required to have an online option for their classes, either live or as a recording, forcing students to expose themselves to large groups of students daily as well as incentivizing students who contract the virus to attend classes while contagious. Students who test positive are given no assistance from the university with safe, isolated living spaces, and are expected to move into hotel rooms off campus with no financial support or to remain housed in their dormitory or apartment. This jeopardizes any roommates an infected student has, as well as those who may share a public bathroom with a contagious student.

Over 25,000 people have signed the coalition’s petition for stricter COVID-19 protocols, but TAMU continues to relax their policies.

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