Remote vs IRL: Where should students turn when there are no good options? ¯\_(°□°)_/¯

  • Remote learning prevents student organizing and doesn’t provide an adequate learning experience.
  • In-person classes without proper safety precautions put students and staff in danger.

We don’t have to choose — both remote and reopen scenarios, as they’ve been carried out so far, have stalled education, compromised our safety, and weakened the student movement. 

Just like businesses, universities take advantage of the pandemic to further their own interests: cutting costs and implementing permanent changes, like the move to virtual learning. This harmful tendency can also be seen in the replacement of workers with self-check-out machines at grocery stores. Universities will make full use of this opportunity if we let them.

In order for students to win demands, we need to organize and demonstrate. But closed campuses and bans on gatherings make it impossible — dispersing us and keeping us weak. A premature and rushed return to campus is a safety risk, but keeping teachers and students away from the physical campus prevents their organization and collective action. If it’s safe enough to go to class, campuses should be fully open!

We refuse to put our lives on hold because the state and schools won’t formulate the plans and spend the money to keep us safe. During surges we need short, temporary closures, but as the waves die down we need safety measures in place so we can return to campus. 

The MDSO has outlined the following charter of demands for the Spring 2022 semester. They reflect the interests of students and campus workers, balancing the need for safety and a return to the campus environment.

We demand FREE and EQUAL access to a SAFE and QUALITY education:

  1. Suspend all tuition NOW – and for the remainder of the pandemic.
  1. Safely and FULLY reopen campus – give students full access to the entire campus and school resources. Implement vaccine and mask requirements as necessary.
  2. Offer a remote option in all courses – for students who cannot risk in-person learning. In case of another surge, be prepared to go fully remote if needed.
  1. Provide free, high-grade PPE – in sufficient quantities for students, teachers, and staff. 
  1. Rehire all teachers and staff laid off during the pandemic – and no more job cuts! Guaranteed protections for faculty and staff unable to work in-person.

We cannot win these demands by signing a petition or just hosting a rally with the hope that the administration throws us a bone. To gain all this we must bring the politics of the socialist revolution to the student body, uniting with all who support our demands, in solidarity with people everywhere fighting for democracy and progress. Only a socialist student movement and coordinated political action will bring forth the needed change in the university system. 

COVID is the symptom, capitalism is the crisis. Socialism is the solution.

→ Print this charter as a poster to put up on your campus.

→ Print leaflets to share with your fellow students and professors: