On Aug. 19, President John Fry sent out a letter to all students declaring the university’s decision to have its operations remain remote for the fall. Since then, many upperclassmen still decided to make the move back to Philly. Although university housing is closed, many students are locked into leases at American Campus Communities properties and off-campus locations. Despite campus facilities being shut down, students living around campus still need resources for COVID-19 and guidelines if anything were to go awry.
At first glance, it may look as though Drexel hasn’t done much in response to this issue. However, the University has continued to update their resource pages with useful information regarding pandemic issues. For one, they’ve regularly updated their COVID-19 Data Dashboard that includes both active and cumulative cases since June 15. As of the evening of Sept. 24, the university has reported 71 total cases among students and employees, with 45 of those being active cases.
Additionally, Drexel has made student reporting easier with the Drexel Health Tracker app and has created a separate webpage dedicated to directing community members who believe they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This page lists contact info for the Drexel Student Health Center, and there will be staff members on-hand to facilitate proper testing and additional steps. It is important to note that although the previously listed sites are up-to-date, there are many outdated sites with obsolete information on them floating around as well.
Additionally, the university’s office of Enrollment Management and Student Success sent out an email on Sept. 10 detailing testing dates, locations and partners, although this message was not received by all members of the Drexel community. We are unsure as to why only some members received this email; it’s clear that this would have been extremely beneficial and informative, as this is exactly what many students have been looking for. A comprehensive list of testing procedures, locations and methods of reducing risk would assist people in protecting themselves and the community.
For another subset of Drexel members, the University has been informative in assisting those on co-op with additional resources. They’ve increased the number of applications allowed from 25 to 35, increased flexibility in the bookending dates for co-ops and worked with employers to create more remote co-op opportunities. Furthermore, if a student should ever feel unsafe in their working environment for any COVID-related reasons, they can contact their co-op advisors about remedying the situation.
Through all of the resources out there, it’s clear that Drexel is trying to keep its members informed. However, there are further steps the University can take to truly ensure the safety of those in its community. Some students feel that Drexel’s decision to go remote has caused them to take less direct responsibility for those on and around campus. With conflicting information and inconsistent communication, it’s clear that, while there are resources in place, not everyone is informed and fully aware of what is available.
See below for a list of the most current COVID-19 information provided by Drexel regarding testing, numbers, and more: