I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder at the age of 18 months, and I am terrified to set foot on campus.
The administration claims that they are doing everything they can to protect students and I believe them.
That being said, they are unable to control as much as is necessary. The recent suspension of six IFC and Panhellenic organizations on campus, as well as the identification of two clusters within the first two weeks of class, illustrates their seriousness. The steps they have taken are necessary, but not the full extent of what needs to happen.
I would like to claim that there are just a few students who are making it harder for the rest of us and do not deserve to call themselves Volunteers.
The photos I have seen circulating of parties and crowded bars, however, say otherwise. If this were just a few students, I would not be as afraid as I am.
If I catch this virus, I will die.
I am 20 years old.
I will never be able to drink at a bar. I will never be able to graduate from the university I love (via Zoom or otherwise). I will never be able to dance with my father at my wedding. I will never start my first career. All of this I could lose because someone I was in class with made the choice to go to one party in a frat house or one bar on the Strip.
I abhor the behavior of my classmates. I am ashamed that the university has taken no responsibility for what has happened so far.
I am horrified that my parents may have to bury me because my fellow Vols have more concern for their parties than their fellow humans.
At the time I am writing this, we have nearly 1000 students in isolation and 210 confirmed cases. I ask the administration, when will it be enough? When will you accept that students are not the people you thought we were?
Will it take my death for you to finally put your foot down and send us home?
Katie Bush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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