Students’ Rights During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Students’ Rights During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The primary responsibility of colleges and universities is to tend to the health, safety, and basic needs of their students, especially during this period of crisis.

Students are owed actual leadership from university presidents and administrations. Leadership in this moment requires transparency about all reported cases of Covid-19 on campus; It requires honesty with students about the level of danger they face at any given time; And on the precipice of catastrophe, leadership requires urgent action.

Universities must do everything in their power to ensure that all of their students have a safe place to live. Therefore, SDS demands no evictions of students. SDS also demands that universities provide free meals, utilities, and other essential services that students need. SDS demands that universities provide laptops and expanded Internet access so that students can effectively continue their education remotely. SDS demands that key policies such as Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals stay in place to keep undocumented youth protected. Furthermore, SDS demands that universities fully reimburse students of all fees for any services denied.

Universities must do these basic things, not only because these are the right and humane things to do, but because these are the necessary things to do in this period of economic depression and global pandemic.

SDS members must adopt the developing pandemic ethics, such as social distancing, hand washing, and self-isolation, and any actions we organize should also comply (i.e., 6-feet of space, or in our cars) in light of the failure of a university to provide for students’ health, safety, or basic needs.