Cleveland State students call for tougher COVID-19 safety measures

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ashley Eging and Ryan Roliff are among more than 16,000 students at Cleveland State University, and both undergraduates say they are frustrated with the school’s COVID-19 safety response.

“There’s an email that the president sent out to everyone and called this our new normal,” Eging said. “This is not our new normal when so many people are at risk. We were both so disappointed and trying to think of what to do. I am disabled myself and knew there were lots of other students like me, so we thought we could start a petition.

The petition has over 250 signatures and a list of demands.

The demands include remote learning options, weekly testing for on-campus students, in addition to take-out restrictions for dining halls.

We learned that all major universities in northeast Ohio have a vaccine or regular testing mandate, except Cleveland State University.

“Staff and faculty members have reached out to our Instagram account to tell us that many of them feel the same and don’t feel like they’re being listened to,” Rollif said.

News 5 reached out to the president of Cleveland State University for an interview, instead we received the following statement:

“We understand that emerging variants of COVID present challenges in how we address safety issues on campus. Nonetheless, we are confident that our ongoing and additional safety protocols will adequately protect members of our University community, as they have for the past 18 months. we also recognize the importance of in-person teaching and learning to student success, our collective mental health, and learning outcomes.

Thanks to the commitment of students, faculty, and staff to following our safety protocols, Cleveland State University’s infection rates throughout the pandemic have been significantly lower than those of the surrounding community. and among the lowest compared to similar urban public universities in the country. This record and our enhanced security plans [csuohio.edu], give us confidence that we can and will have a safe and successful semester on campus.”

The students said they planned to demonstrate at 4 p.m. Monday outside the CSU Student Center.

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Susan W. Lloyd