Based on the volumes of articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education and other major news organizations these are my seven reasons why there will not be students on campus in September 2020.
Politicians and public health officials and not college presidents will decide. If Mayor Walsh cancelled the Boston Marathon, he will not permit the 65,000 college students who rent apartments in Boston to move in in late August.
Colleges are asking Congress for liability protections from being sued by students, parents and faculty. I can't imagine that Congress would pass that legislation.
Currently we do not have a vaccine and colleges do not have the resources, money and personnel to do comprehensive testing. The average cost is $100 per test.
Once on campus, will students be banned from local communities or will students be banned from partying? Students will need to be 100% compliant and they generally are not.
Classrooms and especially labs, force close contact with no options for proper distancing. Furthermore 10-12 students will occupy a single desk over a couple of days. Colleges don’t have the staff to disinfect every desk, every day.
Running a college is like running an all day sporting event 23/7. If we can’t go to Fenway park why should the same assessment not apply to colleges.
Education depends on a safe learning environment. What happens if the college rolls the dice and that college has an outbreak in October and then hundreds get sick and dozens die? What parent would send their child to that college the following year?