Letter to the editor

Graphics by Gina Hsu

Dear Editor,

I write in response to the new guidelines effective November 9th which make not following COVID-19 safety precautions a Policy 71 non-academic offense.  These measures are unduly punitive and harm students and staff by creating an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility. To this point, the guidelines encourage discrimination and hardship for those with an illness or disability for who wearing a face covering is not possible. The release reads: “If you witness a student in violation of COVID-19 mandatory safety precautions in a common indoor space…, you may respectfully remind the student of the precautions if you feel comfortable doing so.” Yet, the same release states that those with a medical need for exemption are “not required to disclose the medical grounds for their exemption.” Only a verification form is required if requested by an instructor or Police Services; certainly not fellow students. It is unfortunate that the University has chosen this punitive path, which may end up making some students feel less safe on campus. This is especially true as I reflect on the vast majority of students and staff who continue to be diligent in following every safety precaution.  

Devan Munn,

3A, Arts.