Spinnaker poll finds mixed support for tighter COVID-19 precautions at UNF

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

(Updated 12:45 pm, Jan. 14, to correct confusing wording.)

Omicron — one of the newest and most widespread variants of COVID-19 — is sweeping across the nation, shoving schools back to their computer screens and iPads, but not at the University of North Florida (UNF). Already experiencing a spike in positive cases both on and off-campus, the opinion of some faculty is that UNF should go remote or offer remote options.

Spinnaker asked this same question to students in a poll earlier this week, receiving a slew of varying opinions. With a total of 337 respondents, students seem to be slanted toward a simple “no.”

 Poll of students on the Spinnaker Instagram page earlier this week in response to the question “Do you think UNF should go remote this semester?” 49.6 percent of respondents said ‘No,’ 28.2 percent of respondents said ‘Yes,’ and 22.3 percent of respondents said for ‘Part of the semester.’ Poll created by the Spinnaker Creative Department.

Nearly 50 percent of respondents said they ‘do not want remote learning this semester.’ The remaining respondents appeared split between ‘wanting to go remote fully’ and ‘wanting to remote for part of the semester.’

Spinnaker also gathered responses, through Instagram, asking students for their thoughts on how UNF is handling the spike in COVID-19 cases. 

“Tbh it’s on the students to protect each other. Unf can’t really facilitate that without crossing the lines,” wrote UNF junior Tyler Heintzen, a Music Education major. 

Samira Yssa, a Health Administration major and a freshman at UNF, wrote: “Great I don’t want to go online.” 

Steffanie Judson, a Nutrition and Dietetics major and freshman, wrote: “We should just go back online already.” These are just a few of the responses Spinnaker received.

At the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester, UNF Interim President Pamella Chally sent an email to all Ospreys addressing some of the challenges that will come with the semester. 

“We are told that the surge of the omicron variant will likely be shorter in duration, and we hope it will soon be behind us,” a portion of the email read. “As we come back together, it is critical that we remain diligent to protect our Osprey community and continue our normal activities.”

Interim President Chally’s email also reiterated the expectation of masks on campus, encouraged students to self-report, and expressed her gratitude to all members of the campus community for the “ongoing diligence.” 

A partial screenshot of the CDC’s chart for calculating quarantine and ‘When to Stay Home.’ Courtesy of the CDC website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their guidelines, accessible here.

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