Outside Evans Hall where University of Oklahoma students and faculty say they are at their limit as they stand protesting for better handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve just been kind of shocked by the lack of response for the pandemic by the university. I think the lack of action undermines the level of impact that such a large university in a small town has.” said OU student Jake Allen.
“There’s a lot of people from different backgrounds here who have all been going through the collective trauma of experiencing what has been, experiencing literally a pandemic.” said OU student Grey Peterson.
The protest comes as the second day of what is being called OU Days of Action. Those organizing the protest say there has been a lack of common-sense policies regarding the pandemic and that the cost of the university’s inaction is great. Protesters were also at The Board of Regents meeting Monday, where leaders read an open letter to the board calling for action. OU President, Joseph Harroz Jr., also talked about the COVID-19 issue.
"It breaks my heart to see the way that faculty students and staff at the University of Oklahoma are left to our own devices and abandoned by the leadership of this state." said Associate English Professor Julia Ward.
“We know risks still attend to it and the question is, how do we attend to it in a way that embraces both sides, the mission we have in the students we know need to have this experience to move forward in their lives, and how we make it as safe as possible. The answers aren’t perfect but it’s always an effort to do better and get that balance right.” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr.
However, not everyone agrees with what the protest is about. “Let there be a choice. No mandates and mandates definitely shouldn’t be instigated and mandated by a teacher’s union imposed on students.” said parent Julie Collier.
As the second day of OU Days of Action wraps up, everyone will have to wait for any action from the university.