Campus Reform | UVM students march for Biden, then encouraged to leave over COVID-19 spike

UVM students march for Biden, then encouraged to leave over COVID-19 spike

Students at the University of Vermont took to the streets to celebrate after the media declared Joe Biden the next president.

Days later, the university campus experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Students at the University of Vermont took to the streets to celebrate a possible Joe Biden presidency, despite a rising number of positive COVID-19 cases. Now, the university is encouraging students to leave campus for the rest of the semester due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

According to the Vermont Cynicafter multiple media outlets projected that Joe Biden would become the next president, students all over the country went out to celebrate despite overwhelming calls to social distance, wear masks, and quarantine because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Students at the University of Vermont took to the streets in marches and by car to celebrate. Some did not wear masks or practice social distancing, but marched with Biden-Harris signs, flags, and Black Lives Matter posters. 

One student, Maya Cornelius described her feeling to the Vermont Cynic, saying, “I was so happy, I cried in the middle of a Christmas tree shop when I found out the news. Then I went to Walmart and some guy was really angry that Biden won, and I got in an argument with him while holding a giant candy cane and I felt very powerful.” 

[RELATED: Syracuse University professors cancel midterms because students are stressed]

Despite the University of Vermont reporting 35 new reported positive cases of COVID-19 at the time, students who marched and protested were not sanctioned and called out as previous students and student groups have been. Toward the end of September, the Vermont Cynic reported that at least 700 students had faced sanctions for violating the school's COVID-19 guidelines.

Penalities for the COVID-19 violations ranged from verbal warnings to parental outreach to fines, probation, and even suspension. In September, Vice Provost Anna Stevens also authored a letter to students and staff, which stated, in part, “large gatherings can be ‘super-spreaders’ of COVID-19; it only takes one positive case to infect hundreds.” 

UVM Vice President for Operation and Public Safety Gary Derr commented on the matter of the rise and noted that there has been a rise in cases merely a few weeks after students celebrated and gathered for what the media have declared a Biden victory.

Students at UVM are now being permitted to leave campus and go home early ahead of Christmas because of the sudden rise in cases. 

The University of Vermont did not respond to Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Jess_Custodio