Chancellor Blank announces she stands by UW’s decisions this month.

The pictured dorm, Sellery, has been under a university-sanctioned quarantine since last Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Jessica Gregory, 2020.

Author: Jessica Gregory

Chancellor Rebecca Blank held a virtual news conference yesterday defending UW-Madison’s decision to bring students back on campus, strongly maintaining that it was the right call.

UW-Madison says they’ve performed over 30,000 tests this month and have been transparent with their data on the SmartRestart dashboard. Chancellor Blank said in the conference that university officials and health professionals meet daily to look at testing trends and rates.

COVID-19 cases rose on campus quicker than officials had expected, but students are not receiving a free pass on any reported irresponsible behaviors.

“There have been and continue to be consequences for students who violated our standards. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is investigating over 380 students for violations related to COVID and reviewing 12 students for emergency suspensions,” Blank said. 

There are 22 university affiliated greek life houses quarantining until further notice and two freshman dorms in lockdown until next Wednesday, Sept. 23.

UW Housing emailed freshman today reporting that 20% of students tested positive in the two quarantined dorms, Sellery and Witte.

With all undergradates restricting their movement during the two week university closure, students are upset their tuition breakdown includes segregated fees for activities and resources they no longer can use.  

A UW-Madison student began a change.org petition to garner support for a refund of the $730 that’s distributed to university funded programs like Rec centers, the Wisconsin Union and more, Channel 3000 reports. 

Students signing the petition have more to say about the tuition cost itself than just the segregated fees. 

“UW Madison campus is not and can not provide the quality education that students have come to expect from such a prestigious institution. To make students pay a premium price for such a lack of performance is wrong and immoral.”

So far, the change.org campaign has almost 800 signatures with a goal of reaching 1,000.