Editorial: This pandemic is killing people and derailing lives but by all means party on, Aztecs


Emily Burgess

Students and administration have a dual responsibility to safeguard public health. Both have failed in recent days, but together we can turn things around.

There are a lot expletives we could use to describe the current situation the San Diego State community now finds itself in, but we think you can figure them out for yourselves.

64 new cases in 10 days.

The Editorial Board at The Daily Aztec is disappointed but not at all surprised.

Before the semester started, we’d already seen what a college campus could look like amidst a raging pandemic. Soaring case counts, ill-prepared administrations, irresponsible students alongside others sounding the alarm were just some of the things we saw coming out of schools like the University of Alabama, Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This didn’t give us much hope for fall 2020, yet from the start, it was clear that the situation at SDSU could be different.

Measured in its approach to repopulating campus and in-person classes, SDSU Flex, in general, is a pretty good plan. It calls for free accessible testing, mandates masks on campus, and outlines clear communication protocols. All things other schools failed to accomplish.  

What’s more, the Interfraternity Council implemented a social moratorium banning all in-person fraternity events. IFC leaders met the current moment, coming up with robust enforcement mechanisms and accountability measures. 

The Editorial Board recognizes university decision-makers and IFC student leaders for working hard to come up with plans of action that take into consideration almost all university stakeholders.

On paper, it seemed like SDSU maybe had a chance of showing what a smart reopening looked like. 

If only that were true.

The start of the semester has made it abundantly clear that besides bringing 2,600 socially-starved 18 to 20-year-olds back to campus, the administration’s biggest failure was assuming students could handle that much responsibility. 

In real-time, we see the consequences of this miscalculation playing out: large groups of students partying, not wearing masks and cases on the rise.   

And all that the students who continue to disregard public health orders will have to show for it are hangovers and a couple of drunken memories. 

Our question for them— when the dorms are closed, and classes go online— is the same question we pose to university leaders who must answer to the students whose health they put at risk: Was it worth it?

To say that SDSU is at a crossroads is a gross understatement. While we can’t turn back time at least we know how this story ends. It is not too late to turn this around. 

Stay home and for fuck’s sake, wear a mask. 

Note from the editor: This article was updated on Sep. 2 to reflect the increase in cases reported at SDSU. Originally the article stated there were 20 cases reported, there are now 64.