The University of Chicago’s decision to stall winter quarter and impose two weeks of remote “learning” defrauds students of the quality education we purchased with our tuition dollars.
In blatant disregard for the well-being of students, UChicago delayed the start of winter quarter until January 10 and mandated that the first two weeks of instruction be entirely virtual. This irrational, anti-science announcement came on December 23, just eleven days before we were due to resume in-person instruction.
We condemn UChicago’s return to “Zoom University.” And we demand a significant reduction in tuition for every week of in-person classes and campus amenities limited or denied.
If Our Schoolwork Were as Lousy as UChicago’s Policies, We’d All Fail
UChicago prides itself on being one of the leading research institutions in the world. It fails to live up to its namesake when it refuses to rationally substantiate its decrees, of which this most recent shutdown is the prime example. If we students submitted a paper as lacking in rigor as the university’s latest COVID policies, we’d get failing grades.
The university attempts to justify its renewed lockdown by strategically and deceptively diverting attention from the minimal severity of Omicron toward the number of cases.
In an attempt to substantiate its return to remote “learning,” UChicago cited “assessments from medical experts that infection rates from the Omicron variant will continue to rise substantially in the next few weeks with the projected infection peak coming in early to mid-January.” But while Omicron is indeed rushing through the country at a breakneck pace, that’s only part of the story. The other, more important, part of the story is that the recent COVID surge does not pose a threat to the survival of UChicago community members.
Without even controlling for comorbidities, the survival rate for Americans under 65 who have contracted COVID since February 2020 is 99.87%. Moreover, COVID risks have declined with the onset of the Omicron variant.
Case in point: Cornell University recently experienced a surge of over 900 Omicron cases, but didn’t record a single instance of severe illness.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s case hospitalization rate amid its Omicron wave declined to one-eleventh of the rate amid Delta, and its case fatality rate plunged from 8% to 0.2% in six weeks.
To date, no Omicron-caused death has been confirmed in the U.S. And UChicago has yet to provide convincing evidence that the severity of the Omicron variant even surpasses that of common cold symptoms for our age cohort, instead treating it like the bubonic plague.
To make matters worse, the university has yet to provide any proof that delaying winter quarter will even have a positive effect on lowering Omicron cases. Nor has it substantiated its claim that there is “increased stress on the medical system,” especially in light of Omicron’s comparatively low hospitalization rate.
We are overwhelmingly likely to survive this virus, students and professors alike. There is no scientific justification for another COVID lockdown—period. Sadly, this fact is lost on our university, which continues to ditch scientific rigor.
If the University’s ‘Experts’ Are So Credible, Name Them
UChicago repeatedly cites “experts” when attempting to justify its COVID decrees, but refuses to release the names of these individuals. This is inexcusable.
If the university trusts its decision makers, it should have no problem sharing their names with our community. Transparency is only inconvenient if there is something to hide.
Who are these anonymous experts crafting university policy? What are their names and credentials? What data are they relying upon? Who is calling the shots?
Our professors rightly demand that we students substantiate and cite our work, but UChicago fails to live up to its own, most basic of standards.
If We Don’t Condemn UChicago’s Lunacy, This Will Become the Norm
UChicago presently suggests January 24 for the resumption of in-person classes, but deceptively refuses to fully commit to this date. Instead, UChicago states that we will only be permitted to start living our lives “if conditions allow,” and that there may be need for “ongoing intervention and adaptations,” whatever that means.
The first so-called requirement for a “safe” return to in-person instruction was receiving the COVID vaccine. The second so-called requirement for a “safe” return was receiving a COVID booster. The latest so-called requirement is now a delayed quarter and two weeks of Zoom classes from home. When will this unrelenting series of shifting goalposts end? It won’t, unless we start speaking up.
Zoom University is a terrible “substitute” for in-person education. It is also isolating. In his petition demanding a return to in-person instruction, fellow student Jonah Kaye rightly points out that “there are steep mental health risks associated with another transition to remote learning.” He cites evidence pointing to the dangers of educational and societal shutdowns: remote learning caused a host of mental health issues for students under 25, and there was a 28.5% jump in overdose deaths between April ‘20 and the following year (i.e., the period with the most excruciating lockdowns).
The chance of a UChicago student or professor dying from Omicron is practically zero—but, by going remote again, UChicago will be directly responsible for significant, adverse consequences to students’ mental and physical well-being. If our university truly valued “the science,” it would prioritize our health by allowing us to fully engage in our education and lives.
Regardless of politics, all members of the UChicago community should stand united in opposition to this insane administrative diktat. This shouldn’t be about right or left. It is much simpler than that. Do we want to spend our lives behind screens, terrified of a glorified flu? Or will we commit to resume living and learning? If we wish to be happy, healthy, thriving individuals, we must choose the latter.
Our demands are as follows:
1. We demand that the University of Chicago recommit to stellar, in-person instruction. Until it does so, we demand that the university implement a significant tuition reduction, specifically the portion of tuition devoted to classes and access to school facilities, for every week of in-person classes and campus amenities limited or denied.
2. We demand that the university provide full financial compensation for all students whose travel accommodations have been disrupted by its latest COVID decrees.
3. We demand that the university name those responsible for creating and implementing its COVID decrees, particularly its remote-learning policies.
4. Finally, we encourage all members of our university community to speak up. Call out the university’s COVID response for the idiocy it is. This won’t end, until we hold UChicago accountable.
The 2021-2022 Editorial Board of the Chicago Thinker:
Audrey Unverferth (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, ’22)
Evita Duffy (Managing Editor, ’22)
Declan Hurley (Vice President, ’24)
Matthew Heck (Chief Newsletter Author and Senior Editor, ’22)
Chad Berkich (Senior Editor, ’24)
Sonni Fitzsimonds (Senior Editor, ’22)
Aidan Griffin (Senior Editor, ’23)
Eden Negussie (Senior Editor, ’24)
Mitchell Robson (Senior Editor, ’24)
Primary Author: Eden Negussie (Senior Editor, ’24)
This is a great application of common sense! Kids are not science experiments; I fully support your fight for equality. Here is my letter to the mayor, please use if it helps your cause.
Excellent article – a key flaw of mandates is they discourage personal enquiry and research. Why bother if you don’t have a choice? Yet this article illustrates the students are able to outline the issues more clearly than the published arguments from those administrators forcing boosters on them. U Chicago leadership needs to reverse their mandate rules and leave it up to their bright students to argue and decide these questions for themselves.
The CDC is giving them money.
The overall aim is fear and Mass Formation Psychosis. It’s worldwide. They want a generation mentally ill misfits, cutoff from ancestry. Who’ll then follow a leader without question. To destroy nations and become gods. It’s the owners of Blackstone and Vanguard.
Do not comply.
Great article. One of the best I’ve seen. Question, are the powers that be not looking at the Vaers data…. https://openvaers.com/covid-data
Over a million adverse reactions including 21000 deaths. Not safe and not effective.
Absolutely brilliant. As you note, the emperor has no clothes, and it’s well-overdue that somebody say so. Many thanks for writing this. I hope the faculty and administrators at your university (and elsewhere) come to their senses.
Good editorial. However the student body, notoriously Socialist as is its faculty and administration, is getting a dose of how a Socialist system operates: by brute force. Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.
I loved your article and have been waiting for more college students to WAKE UP and speak truth to power. THANK YOU! You mentioned that UC wants to have “control” over its students but what you didn’t answer was “why”? This article linked below, attempts to answer that question. Early treatment could have saved 700,000 people from going to the hospital out of 800,000.”
In MedCram video, episode 34,1 Dr. Roger Seheult quoted a paper that explained the functioning of zinc ionophores.
“In 1999, Ralph Baric, funded by the U.S. government, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, figured out how to take an animal virus and have it be able to infect other species, different animals, in other words, cross-species infection.
Finish reading article here: https://truthbasedmedia.com/2022/01/16/the-plan-to-tag-us-for-the-new-world-order-slave-system/
I agree with your proposal for getting a tuition refund for being given online instruction for two weeks of the best four years of your life. I would give the rationale of the decision makers at Cornell for going online an “F”. However, an “F” would be an “A” at a post-rational university where in the words of Erwin Chargaff, “lost souls are teaching the young to lose theirs.”
This policy is just another among many which the current University administration has proclaimed which evidences their extremely Marxist orientation. As an alumni, I have decided to no long make any donations. Speak with your feet!!
If it is possible to teach by Zoom, why is it not possible to vaccinate by Zoom. Perhaps the universities who are mandating online teaching, should accept online vaccinations!
I understand wanting to return to in-person instruction, as we all, but not if masks are required. I’d rather learn online while breathing freely than sit in a classroom suffocating. Of course, the best solution is to return to normal (pre-2020) in class, no masks or other harmful and useless measures.
That you put your names to your writing is noble, and increases the credibility of your thinking. The gutless administration should do the same. Sadly, they will likely hide behind some stupid excuse. Shame on them!!!! Do not back down. Amen to you.
Phenomenal article. Great writing and spot-on points. As a fellow college student I’m proud to call you my peers. Keep up the fight, you’re not alone!
I now have regrets getting vaccinated and will not be getting the booster. They told us these vaccines were safe and effective, they were the key in getting us out of this pandemic. Yet here we are and here we go again with them trying to push more jabs.
If these vaccines worked as promoted, then why do I still have to wear a mask indoors? Why do I have to continuously get tested for a illness I got an effective vaccine for? Why when I get the illness I can still spread it to others? There is little difference or benefit to getting vaccinated, things are same for both vaxxed and unvaxxed.
I’m done with listening to the “Brought to your by Pfizer” talking heads. What they don’t tell you is that Joe Rogan interviewed a real doctor who cured thousands of people with therapeutics on his show. The same therapeutics they continue to demonize and block access to.
Wow, my mind is blown. I been trying to tell people there is NO FDA APPROVED VACCINE! Go to the Pharmacy and ask for it, they don’t have it. If you really think Pfizer has been FDA approved, think again, they still make you sign the EUA, surrendering your right to sue Big Pharma. The vaccine that the FDA did approve won’t come out to 2023.
People did caught on to the FDA approved lie and that is why they stopped talking about Moderna and J&J getting FDA approval because it would keep people talking about the shadiness of the Pfizer approval. Then they tried to seal the documents about why they approved it for 75 years, that’s right… SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS!! But a judge ruled to release all of it in 8 months. My guess, many will be resigning before that time comes.
Best of luck students. It is your body, your choice!
Brevity here seems not to be the soul of wit. Nevertheless, thanks for your convincingly argued editorial. Well done!
I just got over covid 19 … I was not vaccinated… 4 days of severe body aches and pains , sore throat , headache and neck pain … drank tons of liquids and took tylenol and Morin …one day tylenol next day Motrin .. today feel 95% better … just a real bad flu …did not get vaccine prior nor will I after …
So refreshing to see young people speak out without fear. I relate to leaders like you, rather than followers.
Thank you for writing this! My daughter is extremely interested in attending the U of Chicago but at this point, is not welcome to based upon the mandates. If every student walked away from the university over this, they would quickly change their business model. As consumers of their product, the power lies with you.
Id love to sign your petition to cancel the madness! This is obscene anti science anti common sense and anti American. If you stand up now there will be no one left to stand up. Shut the TV off, stop believing the narratives on all levels. IF you dont stand for something you will fall for anything! http://www.vaticancatholic.com