Forgotten at a distance: the life of university students in the time of Covid

I hope these words can make us understand the discomfort that many university students, including myself, have been feeling for a year now. We were left to ourselves, in the most general indifference, never a word, never a reassurance, nothing. Unpaid rents, pending scholarships, and many other concrete problems due to the complete absence of institutions from us. Not to mention the enormous psychological and social problems linked to the total absence of human relationships, from the simple chat before entering class, to the lack of dialogue with teachers and other students. We spend many hours a day locked in a room, in front of a screen, and although distance learning can be more comfortable from a purely organizational point of view, this cannot, or rather should not be normal. Among other things, in many cases the technological gap has not been taken into consideration, creating many problems for those who have had to adapt.

I decided to externalize my state of mind, to be the spokesperson for all those who share my same concerns about this situation, in the total uncertainty about our future. I have been enrolled at the University of Pisa since September and have never set foot in the university. Is it possible that you cannot find a solution to return to teaching in presence safely? Even more serious, moreover, that no one talks about it, reinforcing the students' feeling of being left to themselves.

Ours is not an alarm from “deniers”, but from people well aware of the risk that this virus can entail. Without pretending to be able to return to normal immediately, we believe that something can be done to allow those who wish to enjoy the university atmosphere, obviously following a very precise protocol and with due precautions. Attending lessons face to face is our right and the solutions could be multiple, for example a mixed teaching (part of the students in presence and one at a distance for a week, to then exchange the following week). In short, something to reconcile total health security with the right to education.

In the hope that the situation will change soon, I invite all like-minded students to join, we must make our voices heard so that we will never be left to ourselves again. We need to take back our future.

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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/dimenticati-a-distanza-la-vita-degli-studenti-universitari-ai-tempi-del-covid/ on Tue, 23 Feb 2021 04:53:00 +0000.