What To Know About College Reopening In A Pandemic

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A student walks through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on August 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)
A student walks through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on August 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

College students across the country are returning to campuses for the first time since the pandemic hit. But some campuses closed almost as soon as they opened. We look at how the decisions are being made to reopen higher ed.  


Andy Thomason, senior editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education. (@arthomason)

Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of Science Magazine. Professor of chemistry and medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (@hholdenthorp)

Caroline Anders, senior at Indiana University. Enterprise editor at the Indiana Daily Student, IU’s independent student newspaper. (@clineands)

From The Reading List

Chronicle Of Higher Education: "Colleges Lost the Moral Authority to Blame Students" — "It always starts with Harvard."

Inside Higher Education: "Fall Brings Wave of Furloughs" — "The beginning of September marked the start of long-term furloughs for many colleges."

Chronicle Of Higher Education: "Northeastern’s $50-Million Bet" — "Covid-19 is surging on college campuses. Many are abandoning plans to bring students back. But Adam Azoulay, lounging in an orange Adirondack chair on the grass of Northeastern University’s campus, is hopeful that his institution may succeed where others have failed."

CNN: "While Covid-19 cases spike among children, Fauci says colleges shouldn't send infected students home" — "New Covid-19 hot spots keep popping up across the US, with worrying trends in the Midwest and at colleges nationwide."

New York Times: "‘Nobody Likes Snitching’: How Rules Against Parties Are Dividing Campuses" — "It looked to be a typical college party: a small group of students crammed in a kitchenette, cheering on as a shirtless guy arm-wrestled a laughing young woman. No one wore masks."

U.S. News & World Report: "Reopening Colleges Face Biggest Coronavirus Threat: Students" — "The epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic shifted precipitously this week, scattering to hundreds of college and university campuses across the U.S. as the World Health Organization warned that young people are now the primary drivers of COVID-19."

Los Angeles Times: "Thousands of community college students withdraw after a lost semester amid coronavirus" — "Stevie Carpenter dropped out of high school, earned his GED, enrolled at L.A. City College and at age 25 has been accepted to attend UC Davis this fall, where he plans to study neurobiology."

The News & Observer: "Why haven’t COVID-19 cases spiked at Duke University? Mass testing plays a big part." — "As COVID-19 cases soared into the hundreds at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University this fall when students returned to campus, Duke University seems to have things under control, for now."

Chronicle Of Higher Education: "UNC Pulls the Plug on In-Person Fall. Will Other Campuses Follow?" — "Two weeks after moving students into the dorms for an in-person fall, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that it’s moving mostly online for the rest of the semester."

This program aired on September 3, 2020.


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Grace Tatter Producer, The Great Wager
Grace Tatter is an independent journalist and audio producer.


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Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



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