Students protest WMU reopening plan

Students gathered outside the schools admin building Monday, accusing the university of putting profits over students' health.

A day before classes were set to begin at Western Michigan Universty, students gathered to protest the university’s reopening plans.

Among the points of contention is WMU’s limit of one free COVID-19 test per asymptomatic student. Any test beyond that will cost $84 apiece. It is well-known that people can be infected and contagious for several days before showing any symptoms.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Senior Larkin Babbit was one of the students outside WMU’s Seibert Administration Building Tuesday. She told MLive that even if every student follows every safety precaution, some will still catch the virus.

“COVID is not happening in a bubble,” she said. “There are people who have to work jobs that are not on-campus.”

Unfortunately, not everyone is following safety precautions.

“Putting our lives and the people who are respecting those rules at the mercy of people who – either poor-intentioned or not – aren’t compliant, is really scary,” said Babbit.

WMU has initiated plans to control the spread. Every student is required to take an electronic self-assessment every morning. That data is used to identify potential outbreaks.

The school has also threatened to suspend students caught not following safety guidelines, such as social distancing. However, some students have reported witnessing parties at some student housing.

A representative from WMU met with student protesters and said the school would take their concerns under consideration.

You can read the full story here.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.