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Student association at UW-Madison calling for university to move to all-virtual format

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Association Students of Madison at UW-Madison is calling on the university to move to an all-virtual format.

This comes after Chancellor Rebecca Blank wrote an open letter to students that was published on a university website, asking that undergraduates limit their exposure to other over the next 14 days. Blank asked students to only leave their homes for a half-dozen reasons including attending classes, getting food and going to work.

However, the official student governance body representing students on campus feels that move isn't enough. The ASM made a full list of suggestions for Blank and the university.

The full letter can be read below:

ASM supports a Moral Restart. Although the Chancellor’s call for students to limit in-person interaction and restrict their movement is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough in addressing the rapid spread of COVID-19. The University must understand that we are in the midst of a global pandemic that is taking lives. The only acceptable number of student deaths is zero. Every single day that in-person instruction resumes is an unnecessary risk for the lives of students, staff, faculty, and those in the Madison community.

We do support the University’s decision to cancel all in-person social and student organization events, restrict visitors in the residence halls, require masks at all times, and close RecWell facilities. However, a lot more can be done to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus, such as moving to an all-virtual format, supporting student workers financially so they do not have to get other jobs, and including student voices in the decision-making process. For a
full list of our suggestions, please refer to our previous press release here.

If we see a scenario where students are removed from residence halls, we hope that the University will take a vested interest in preventing the spread across the country. This would include widespread testing and mandatory quarantine periods for students who either test positive or are likely to have come into contact with COVID-19 before they leave campus. We support housing reimbursement for students removed from dorms.

ASM would like to meet with campus administrators to discuss how to move forward in order to keep students safe, as well as discuss the data that was cited in the Chancellor's message with regards to transmission through in-person classes.

In support of a safe and moral restart for students, workers, and the Madison community,

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