Colleges and universities like Cornell are hoping to reopen campuses and resume in-person instruction in the fall, but they face significant physical and logistical obstacles in protecting their students, Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Dean of Continuing Education and Summer Session, says in an opinion piece in the New York Times. Schools must build cultures of physical distancing to keep the coronavirus off campuses, he writes.
“Residential colleges are sometimes described as ‘landlocked cruise ships,’ because students live, eat, study and socialize together, often in close quarters. Under ordinary circumstances, that is a good thing," Altschuler writes. "But such tightly knit campus communities are tailor-made for spreading an easily transmissible illness like the coronavirus.”