BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – LSU students are demanding the university change an on-campus living policy amid coronavirus concerns.
Currently thousands of students are scheduled to move in this fall, but now a petition is making the rounds demanding the university change their housing policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The living arrangements are very close they’re very tight knit and theres hardly any space to social distance so it’s a crisis,” Brooklen Farley said.
The petition calls for freshmen to be able to opt out of living on campus without penalty. Farley is a former residential advisor and helped create this petition. She believes students sharing close quarters creates an unsafe environment.
“I don’t see how they’re going to safely transition with having students come from all over the country from states that have hirer spikes in COVID-19 cases I don’t see how they’re going to contain this,” Farley said.
According to LSU housing documents, anyone who cancels their on-campus housing arrangements will have a pay a $500 penalty. If a student cancel after the first say of classes that penalty goes up.
Now, with coronavirus cases rising in the 18-29 age group, Laila Fisher says she’s concerned the number of students living in dorms will mean incoming freshman like herself are more susceptible to getting the virus.
“People touch stuff and they don’t wash their hands all the time,” Fisher said.
In a statement, LSU officials said:
In three- and four-student rooms, pushed the contract cancellation fee date back twice, and have had a live-on requirement exemption process in place from the first day contracts opened in January. The truth is that we are actually seeing more people wanting to live on campus during these times. Exemption numbers are down, and enrollment projections are up. Contract cancellation fees are always available at lsu.edu/cancelhousing, and we believe the fee and refund schedule is fair – even allowing students to submit a contract, then get an approved exemption and have their cancellation fees waived.”
Students say as long as students are forced to be in tight spaces with each other like bathrooms and bedrooms they believe its only a matter of time before the virus spreads around campus.