UVA Students say they understand the risks of returning to Grounds

UVA Students say they understand the risks of returning to Grounds
The University of Virginia Rotunda in Charlottesville (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - There are lots of mixed feelings when it comes to the University of Virginia’s plans return to grounds in the coming weeks. Some students agree with UVA officials, and say they believe a safe semester is doable.

In UVA’s statement on Friday, the University explained it’s rationale for bringing students back. It says that concerns about supply chain readiness have been addressed, and that the virus prevalence in Virginia is in a range the university feels comfortable with.

Some students, many of whom have already returned to grounds, say they agree with the school.

“I think the plans are okay,” UVA third year Harison Schlossberg said. “You know, I think the widespread testing is really important.”

Schlossberg says he believes students were coming back regardless.

“I really think UVA isn’t bringing students back,” he said. “I think students are coming back, even if they have no classes, because they love the community they want to be with friends.”

He also says he understands the risk involved with returning to Grounds.

“I’m from New York City so in the beginning, if you didn’t take anything seriously, you knew people were affected by Coronavirus directly, so you don’t want any of that to happen to your classmates, teachers, or just anyone in the community,” Schlossberg said.

However, the university acknowledges that the decision will not be universally positive.

“We know some will be delighted to hear this news and others will be disappointed,” the school said in a statement. “To be frank, it was a very difficult decision, made in the face of much uncertainty, and with full awareness that future events may force us to change course.”

“We understand the concerns and share them,” the statement continued. “We care about the health and well-being not just of our faculty, staff, and students, but of our neighbors in the Charlottesville region.”

Students understand this year will be different. During the university’s Virtual Opening Convocation University President Jim Ryan said just that.

“This year a UVA will undoubtedly be different than any we’ve seen in our lifetimes regardless of whether you are on grounds or onlinem” Ryan acknowledged. “There will be some challenges for sure but there will also be some opportunities and some advantages.”

As of now, classes are scheduled to begin in person on September 8.

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