Students, teachers, staff at Illinois State University criticize re-opening plan

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — More than 250 teachers, staff, and students at Illinois State University say the school’s reopening plan for the fall doesn’t do enough to protect the campus.

In a 17-page letter, they’re asking leaders to take more precautions, and they’re offering suggestions.

The letter suggests creating a free-on-campus testing site, requiring students to sign a pledge to behave responsibly, and allow teachers the choice to work remotely.

The document sent out on Tuesday already has over 250 signatures.

“We think that unless their is a robust health plan in place before we bring students back we will jeapordize not only students, they’re parents, faculty, and staff of ISU, but also local community members,” said math professor Olcay Akman

Akman who has studied the spread of coronavirus says the school needs to be careful reopening the campus, which is much different than reopening a remote business.

“When we open a University we invite people from various states even perhaps various countries where COVID-19 restriction policies vary greatly, some more loose than others,” said Akman.

ISU spokesman Eric Jome says the school is actively listening to concerns from the community on how they can better prepare for the upcoming school year.

“A lot of it was stuff that was already being addressed is already being worked on and we certainly understand people’s concerns about this so we are trying to make sure when we are finalizing plans we’re able to communicate that to the people,” said Jome.

Jome says the Redbird Returns Reopening Plan is fluid and a new round of guidelines will come out next week.

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