'COVID-19 will not be gone anytime soon': Georgetown students beg for return to campus

Georgetown University is facing backlash over its spring 2021 semester reopening plan.

The Georgetown Student Association criticized the university in a written statement.

Nearly 2,000 community members signed a Change.org petition, entitled, “Open Georgetown University.”

Georgetown University is facing backlash after announcing that it will still offer courses virtually for the upcoming spring semester, with limited hybrid course options on the main Washington, D.C. campus. The school added that it will only bring back approximately 500 additional seniors to the residence halls.

“These are profoundly hard decisions, and in navigating through this difficult time, we are guided by our first priority–the safety of our community,” the announcement read. “For all of us, this is not how we would like to be operating and I understand the disappointment and frustration that comes with these circumstances.”

Meanwhile, other nearby colleges announced plans to invite students back to campus, including American University, Catholic University, and Johns Hopkins University.

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The Georgetown Student Association criticized the university in a written statement saying, “the issue is not simply that Georgetown is ignoring the needs of the student body, but is worse in that it solicits student input, then discards it.”

More than 1,800 community members have signed a Change.org petition called “Open Georgetown University.”

“Most universities have found a way to safely open their campus to students with populations larger and densities equal or greater than Washington D.C.,” the petition read. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 will not be gone anytime soon, and we need Georgetown's leadership to get their students who wish to be on campus to be allowed to do so no later than January.”

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Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Campus Reform covered an Axios and College Reactions poll that revealed 90 percent of students held negative views of online learning.

Campus Reform reached out to Georgetown University for a statement but did not hear back in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk