With the fall semester looming, colleges and universities are split on resuming in-person instruction (“How Colleges Can Keep the Coronavirus Off Campus,” The New York Times, June 1). I understand their predicament. They want to protect the health of students while at the same time not deprive them of a traditional education.
The problem is that no matter what steps officials take, they are fighting against what young people do naturally. I’m talking about congregating in close quarters. We already see evidence of that now that the lockdown has been lifted. Young people violate social distancing at bars and at beaches very often without wearing face coverings.
Schools can require students to sign a contract promising to adhere to stipulated rules. But in the final analysis, such efforts will be in vain. That is particularly the case at residential colleges and universities because students are always in close proximity to each other. If schools are really committed to the health of their students, they should rely exclusively on distance learning until a vaccine is available.
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