CU Boulder Student Support Drive!

The Matt Menza campaign is organizing a Support Drive for CU Boulder students who need immediate attention to the disastrous CU Boulder response to their COVID-19 outbreak among students.

We want to coalesce the Boulder County community to help our Buffs.

Read below to read student stories submitted to us and posted on Reddit. Also, read below to take action, and read Matt Menza’s solutions.

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Student Stories

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CU Boulder Student Stories

First Year CU Boulder Engineering student describes her experience living on campus during the COVID-19 outbreak.

She discusses how her bathroom, including any public space, use was limited, and how she had inadequate access to food and water while sick with the flu.

A CU Boulder Sophmore who lives in a sorority describes her experience contracting COVID-19 and how CU Boulder botched her testing, potentially leading her housemates to also contract COVID-19. She also describes how food and water were not consistently provided while she was in isolation.

“My personal experience with the COVID-19 pandemic was extremely challenging.

In regards to testing, CU did not do a good job at all with letting me know I was positive.

My first round of testing was a spit test. When I arrived at the testing tent, they asked me to fill in an online form to say I was safe to come on campus before taking the test. During this time I was experiencing symptoms but I was told to answer the survey as though I was not having symptoms at all in order to get “the green smiley face.”

Once I arrived and signed the online consent form, I was given a small test tube to do my spit test and afterward was not told any instructions on when I would be notified. I ended up asking them when I would know if I was positive and they proceeded to tell me that if I did not get a call within 24 hours, I would be negative. The 24 hour time period passed with no phone call and I presumed that I was negative and while living in my sorority house, went and ate breakfast in our dining area with other girls.

A few hours later, I got an email notifying me that my test was positive, making me realize that I potentially put members of my sorority at risk of contracting the virus as well.

A friend of mine in the sorority also got tested and got a negative spit test but she was feeling so ill she went back and demanded another test which then came back positive. I have heard many stories much like this as well showing the unreliability of the spit testing and the false security it is offering to students, widening the spread. I was then notified that I would need to gather all things needed for two weeks and find a quarantine space immediately along with having to balance exams and assignments with my symptoms of having the virus itself.

Having no stable living space, for the time being, I gathered two weeks worth of clothing and bedding and was put into the basement of my sorority house with other members who also had COVID and there under the CU regulations, we were told not to leave the room for 10 days. There, the girls remaining in my sorority house did their best to bring food down to the room for us to eat without exposing themselves while we tried to figure out a better living situation.

I was told to get a nose swab test which was supposed to give me my definitive answer on my COVID results so I called the Wardenburg office and stayed on the line for 30 minutes with no response until I decided to go online to make an appointment. I had to make an appointment for the next day at 9 am as they had no spaces for the day of and the only tests the school offered were “COVID-19 no symptom tests,” which were for students who had no symptoms of COVID. Not knowing what to do, I selected this and hoped for the best.

The next morning, I went to Wardenburg and saw a line that trailed around the building of students needing to get tested. While I was there, they stated that we would have to wait in line until they fixed a technological issue with the online sign in. I then asked one of the workers if there is anything I can do to make sure I don’t miss my appointment and they sent me upstairs to get my test. While getting the nose swab test, I was not told that I needed to do it myself and instead was put into a room while a doctor put the two swabs on the chair and from the doorway told me instructions on how to do the test myself.

I then left and was told I would get my results within 48 hours, in which they emailed me four hours later letting me know I was positive.

Additionally, during this time, I was given vague directions by professors in regard to what I need to do to make up schoolwork while I was experiencing symptoms making it difficult to study in the first place. Many of the girls and I ended up having breakdowns in the quarantine room from the situation and were scared and confused about what to do from here on out and had little support or guidance from the school.

We tried our best to get food through delivery services and through the services our house provided. After five days, my parents arranged a situation in which I would be able to go home and live at home while they found other places to reside in for the remaining time. I was told when I needed to move that I need to bring my laboratory kit with me which was upstairs in my room. After explaining that I could not reach my laboratory kit as it resided upstairs in my room, my class was sent an email stating that if we are being moved out of our living situations that we should have our lab kits FedExed to us wherever we go in order to do the labs.

Having half of my sorority house evacuate, I was unable to find someone that would be willing and comfortable enough to FedEx my laboratory kit to my home which has led me to be unable to do the labs for my class for the next two weeks. In regards to the entirety of the situation, it has left me frustrated, scared, and confused with no sense of direction on what to do from here on out.”

Denver Post: Not safe to send CU Boulder students home, Polis says as campus clears dorm for COVID-19 quarantine space

A preview from the article: Kennedy Pickering, an 18-year-old freshman, felt so unsafe staying on campus this week that her mother booked her a nearby hotel room.

Pickering was concerned about her proximity to a COVID-positive student who hadn’t yet been moved to an isolation dorm.

“We couldn’t get answers on what to do,” Pickering said. “I have an autoimmune disease and didn’t feel safe in my dorm. I called my mom, she got me a hotel, I grabbed a bag I had already packed in case I needed to leave quickly, and I left.”

Action!

First things first, let’s help our Buffs. A CU Buff who is in isolation has organized her own GoFundMe fundraising campaign to provide meals and necessities for her fellow CU Buffs.

This GoFundMe is not affiliated with our campaign; we are just raising awareness of the campaign so these Buffs get some help! Matthew Menza for Colorado is in full support of this student’s effort to provide community-driven relief to CU Buffs in need.

Are you a CU Buff student and are you wanting to provide your testimonial of living on campus during this COVID-19 pandemic? Submit your story below.

Matt Menza is currently in direct contact with the CU administration. We use student stories to relay concerns (students are kept anonymous) to the administration directly so CU begins to alleviate any confusion, panic, and anxiety that students currently are experiencing.

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Now, please consider sending an email to the CU Regents and administration expressing your concerns (civilly) and ask what action is being taken to alleviate the concerns of anxious students.

We emailed Regent At-Large, Heidi Ganahl, and this was her response:

“Feel free to share this information on your Facebook post or your website, I’m not going to post myself since I’m still recovering from the surgery and not able to respond as effectively as usual to comments and questions.

We are starting with the perspective that the rates of COVID infection among CU students are something that the campus must urgently address. So far, the data shows that the infection is mostly prevalent among undergraduates and that off-campus parties and social events are leading to infection. The campus has not seen the spread of infection in the classroom. Most of the COVID cases are mild. They are not leading to hospitalizations of students and have not yet led to the spread of infection in the community. But the problem is real and must be addressed.

Boulder County Public Health recommended that students voluntarily self-quarantine for a two week period in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID. This is the same strategy that has been employed at other institutions, including Michigan State and the University of Arizona, and allows students to attend classes, go to work, get meals, and receive medical care. If these measures are not effective in helping to reduce the infection rate, local public health authorities may issue orders to further restrict the spread of infection.

Students are not being asked to report other students for disciplinary action. But the campus will initiate discipline when students who have tested positive for COVID and are under quarantine place others at risk or when students have violated public health orders.

I also want to explain how the campus is doing testing. On-campus students are required to submit a saliva-based test once a week. If that test is positive, the student is referred to medical services for a confirmatory PCR test, which is the nasal swab test. All of the nasal swabs are administered by the medical personnel.

It is also untrue to state that the campus is mixing healthy students with COVID-positive students in the dorms. The campus has provided quarantine spaces for students who are COVID-positive, and those spaces are separate from the other dormitories. Earlier this week, the campus had to ask some students to shift their dorm rooms to create additional quarantine spaces. Students who are in quarantine spaces cannot invite non-infected students into their dormitories.

It is also untrue that the campus is denying food or water to any student. Meals are delivered to students who are in quarantine spaces several times a day.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, and the campus is doing everything possible to provide a safe living environment.

Best, Heidi”

Solutions!

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