St. Michael’s students express concern over handling of outbreak as case counts near 100

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The outbreak at Saint Michael’s College is just shy of 100 cases. Some students say campus officials are being hypocritical with the guidelines they’ve set for students.

“It feels like it was them pushing blame on students, a slap on the wrist, and then they’re back to what they were going to do anyway,” Jake Wilson, a senior, said.

Students from Saint Michael’s College, spoke to us Friday about the current outbreak on campus. Case counts have climbed to 99 infections and a testing center was set up for asymptomatic students and faculty, but on a completely voluntary basis.

“There has been no mandatory testing on campus all semester long,” Jack Keddy, a junior said. “We believe this is actually, unlike what the email said, was inevitable.”

The students reached out to Local 22/44, expressing concern around the whole situation. They first took issue with a letter sent out Sunday that read the situation was ‘not inevitable’ and the result of numerous Halloween parties where students were unmasked and in close contact.

“It’s like you’re yelling at us for following your guidelines,” Matt Tucker, a 5th year, said.

The students say the college approved of such Halloween gatherings, as long as they were registered with the college. In fact a ‘Student life’ schedule sent to us showed, it hosted its own events Halloweekend.

“The omission of events like that leads you to believe trying to shy away from their hand in the outbreaks on campus,” Wilson said.

This week, St. Mike’s put a stop to all parties, and any other in-person social gatherings through the Thanksgiving holiday. We learned plans for an in-person open house on campus Saturday have not been scrapped. At the same time, students were told they can’t have any guests of their own.

“It’s unfair to us, for having guests of what the school thinks is deemed okay, and then us not getting to enjoy what we pay for,” Tucker said.

Students say they want transparency and for the school not to pick and choose what benefits what party.

“I think we would feel a lot better about the open house if there was mandatory school testing,” Keddy said. “We don’t know of the people who have not been testing, who has it.”

A memo to students Thursday read in part “the impact of our statement caused disillusion among all those students who had abided by all the health and safety policies. We sincerely regret that.”

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