Letter to the Editor: In response to ‘Campus buildings, dorms to close’

By Letter to the Editor, by Marisa Hayase

My partner is a current student at Columbia College Chicago and a current resident on campus. To kick out your students, especially those who are international or do not have homes to return to due to the pandemic, is unacceptable.

Columbia College provides a safe space to its students and a home—and at this point, this is not taking into account those who aren’t welcome in their own “permanent” homes. With the spread of the coronavirus, the general public is highly discouraged from any travel outside of their homes, much less using public transit to get to their homes, and to essentially force your students to go to the airport—a “crowded travel setting,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and get on an airplane, is completely ridiculous.

Not every student has the privilege of driving themselves home, staying with family or being picked up by friends or family from campus and safely driven home. This isn’t taking into consideration those who only have the option of returning to friends or family who are at high risk for the disease, directly from a campus where it is present.

Your students are safe in their dorm rooms, quarantining themselves from the outside and practicing social distancing. It is unreasonable to ask them to leave the safety of their homes within five days notice. Many lack the financial resources to just “make other housing arrangements.”

I understand that these are new circumstances for the school and that the situation is rapidly changing, but the fact that Columbia didn’t have these details worked out before informing students and kicking them out is absurd.

The college’s ignorance is costing students time, money and, not only their individual wellbeing but fueling the flames of an already dire and stressful situation.


Marisa Hayase

Portland State University