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In-person classes: Some Concordia students say COVID-19 measures aren't cutting it

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As Concordia resumed in-person classes Thursday, protestors demanded more measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Some students are asking for better access to N95 masks and more social distancing in classrooms, among other measures.

“I know some students have dropped out. I know some faculty are also very uncomfortable,” said Bree Stuart, a Concordia student and president of the union Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC).

Some have called for the option to continue virtual learning.

“We just don’t think it’s worth it when we have the infrastructure, we’ve had it for the past year, to be online,” said Stuart.

History professor Norman Ingram said he polled students in his class last week, asking them if they wanted to return in person.

“Only 30 per cent said they would. 70 per cent said no, but we’re back. We’re back,” he said.

“I’m worried about it, I know my TAs are worried about it, I know my students are worried about it.”

In a statement, the university said it meets “regularly with the representatives of Santé publique Montréal to discuss guidelines and assess the protocols and measures in place.”

These guidelines include requiring surgical masks and offering easy access to hand sanitizer.

But according to Quebec public health, students in class don’t need to keep their distance.

Students like Concordia Student Union (CSU) representative Hannah Jamet-Lange want their school to go further while transmission of the virus remains high.

“[It’s] putting at risk the whole student body and the whole Concordia community, but also neglecting disabled students, immunocompromised students, students that are caregivers for people who are at higher risk.” 

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