UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s statement that she'd make the same decision again about welcoming students back to campus caused me great alarm.
It is painfully obvious that opening the university for in-person classes will be a failure for students, faculty and staff. Not only has she facilitated the exposure of COVID-19 to this population of nearly 70,000 people, but also to their families and their neighbors.
Worse still, because Chancellor Blank has created a nexus of contagion, people are afraid to come to Madison and especially to Downtown and to campus. This decrease in traffic affects more than the university's finances, it affects small business owners like myself. We are struggling to maintain our businesses and her bad decision to bring back students could cost us our livelihoods.
Chancellor Blank is responsible for making campus safe. Her decisions impact the community in which her campus is located. Her experiment has thus far generated a very dangerous public health crisis. She can correct this failed experiment now and not repeat it in the future.
We must ask Chancellor Blank to respect her students, faculty, staff and community.