We’ve had 338 COVID-19 cases since Aug. 1. As of Aug. 31 there are currently 44 students on campus in isolation and quarantine. There are 625 students in isolation and quarantine off-campus. 

This comes as no surprise, considering the history that NC State has with their lackluster COVID containment protocols. The first three weeks of classes have been a breeding ground for COVID. Walking through Talley during the first-year convocation only solidified my fears of our current situation. It was a sea of people with virtually everyone with no masks on, as if things were back to normal. This has now become a daily occurrence. I see countless students, even staff, without any sort of masks on and no sense of social distancing. 

Since starting the third week of the semester, I have already had two classes send me the same tired email that many others have seen about possible COVID contact. The fact that it has only been three weeks is appalling. Considering there have been 338 positive cases since the beginning of August, it is unlikely that there hasn’t been a single cluster.

When will NC State learn that more needs to be done in order to go back to regularly scheduled programming? 

At this point it’s become glaringly obvious that the only reason we’re even back on campus is because they want a check. When will NC State learn that you can’t just have students come back without having a more efficient system when dealing with COVID? It seems that history is due to repeat itself and honestly is anyone even surprised at this point? The tired, dragged out slogan, “Protect the Pack” has become laughable, often used as a calling card for the many performative stunts that students have had to endure during this time. 

With the Pass-Fail option having been removed for this semester, many are left in an unpleasant predicament. There has been no real transition into in person classes, even though many people haven’t had a single in person experience in nearly 2 years or since becoming a NC State student. Students are now having to relearn how to navigate school, for many this is the first time having in person classes since high school. This is a transition period and there is a need for the Pass-Fail option to remain for this semester. 

How is having no Pass-Fail option fair to students who are still online due to the fear of the same situation that occurred last year happening again? How is this fair to students who haven’t been in person for the past two years? It seems that NC State is throwing its students out to sea with no life jacket and expecting them not to drown. 

Although, this has been a fast transition back to an in-person format, the main positive is that my professors have already had the option of doing classes online open. However, there are some professors who feel as though their class doesn’t have to follow COVID regulations. 

I don’t know how many more cases and students getting kicked off of campus it will take for NC State to understand– the current status quo will not work, is not feasible, and is blatant lack of care towards the “pack” they claim to love so much.

NCSU freshmen clap as Chancellor Randy Woodson finishes his speech to the new students at Convocation Aug. 15 in Court of the Carolinas.