Cleveland State students call for tougher COVID-19 safety precautions

Cleveland State University.
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 10:44:30-05

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ashley Eging and Ryan Roliff are among Cleveland State University's more than 16,000 students, and the two undergrads say they're frustrated with the school's safety response to COVID-19.

“There’s an email that the president sent out to everyone and was calling this our new normal,” said Eging. “This isn't our new normal when so many people are at risk. We were both so disappointed with it and we were trying to think of what to do.”

The petition has more than 250 signatures and a list of requests.

The requests include options for remote learning, weekly testing for on-campus students, in addition, to grab-and-go restrictions for dining halls.

We've learned every major university in Northeast Ohio has a vaccine or regular testing mandate except Cleveland State University.

“Staff and faculty members have reached out to our Instagram account telling us that many of them feel the same way and don’t feel like they’re being listened to,” said Rollif.

News 5 reached out to the Cleveland State University’s president for an interview, we instead received the following statement:

"We understand that emerging COVID variants present challenges to how we address safety concerns on campus. Nonetheless, we are confident that our continuing and additional safety protocols will adequately protect members of our university community, as they have for the past 18 months. Concurrently, we also recognize the importance of in-person teaching and learning as it relates to student success, our collective mental health, and learning outcomes.

Thanks to the commitment of students, faculty and staff in following our safety protocols, Cleveland State University’s infection rates throughout the pandemic have been significantly lower than those of the surrounding community and among the lowest when compared to similar urban public universities in the country. That track record, and our enhanced plans for safety [], give us confidence that we can and will have a safe and successful semester on campus."

Students said they are planning to protest on Monday at 4 p.m. outside of CSU’s student center.

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