Arizona College Students Facing Tough Decisions As The Fall Semester Approaches

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Monday, August 10, 2020 - 5:58am
Updated: Monday, August 10, 2020 - 7:30am

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Karlyn Bradley
Karlyn Bradley
Karlyn Bradley is a senior at the University of Arizona. They are choosing to attend virtual classes in the fall semester because of the continued risk of COVID-19.

College students are getting ready to start the fall semester later this month. Arizona’s three public universities plan to offer in-person, hybrid and online courses.

At least half the University of Arizona classes will have an in-person component. 

The Tucson university is implementing policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus coronavirus testing for students living in dorms and requiring face coverings, but UA senior Karlyn Bradley still has concerns.  

“I think there’s a lot of things that are missing from the scenarios that the president has outlined," he said. 

They said they don't feel comfortable being on campus this fall. 

“I will continue to stay home and mind my business," he said. "I went through my classes to ensure that they were actual fully online classes.”  

Kyle Nitschke is the organizing director of the Arizona Students’ Association, a student-led, nonpartisan organization. He's also an Northern Arizona University grad.

Kyle Nitschke
Kyle Nitschke
Kyle Nitschke, an organizing director for the Arizona Students' Association, says students are struggling to decide whether they should return to their college towns as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

He thinks many college students like Bradley are very concerned about COVID-19 risks. Nitschke thinks his alma mater’s plan for the fall semester has been driven by its desire to keep students enrolled. 

“Honestly, tuition is how our universities get their funding because our state doesn’t really properly fund education," he said. "Universities have really been forced to kind of choose between students’ safety and maintaining financial solvency throughout this pandemic."

He said students are also struggling with universities' making last minute changes to dorm move-in dates and testing requirements for students living in the residence halls. With some classes being offered virtually, Nitschke has heard some students are unsure of whether they should return to NAU or stay in the Phoenix area with their families, especially if they have local jobs. 

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