About Those UTampa Students…

Let’s dial back the vitriol against those University of Tampa students to, like, maybe zero.

University of Tampa spring break was March 9 to March 13. On March 12 the CDC was still reporting no community-transmitted cases of COVID-19 in Florida.

If a responsible student wanted to make a responsible decision, she would probably be directed to the CDC, which said travel was safe, just be reasonably precautious. If they asked the University president, or the Governor, or the Mayor, they probably would have been told the same thing.

If they asked their professors they might have heard, “Well, I’m going to New Orleans,” or “I’m going to Barcelona,” or “I’m going on a cruise.” All things I heard professors say before UT’s spring break.

We also don’t know what those students were doing during ‘spring break’. Not everyone gets wasted at the beach. They might have been working together on their marine biology project. They might have been traveling back to the same home town. They might have gone camping in North Carolina. And, sure, they might have been swapping spit in a dance club.

What’s more upsetting is that a non-trivial number of UT’s outsourced labor force was laid off yesterday. Many those people who clean the buildings, take out the trash, and cook the food are now without a job; many of whom live paycheck to paycheck. That’s not on the students. And that’s getting no viral status or snarky comments. And what’s being done to those workers is far worse than anything any of those students did.

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