Smart move by a university filled with smart people.

Courtesy of Bloomberg:

Princeton University reversed its plan to bring some of its students back on campus for the next term, saying undergraduate classes won’t be held in person because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision means undergraduates from the classes of 2022 and 2024 will not come to campus in late August as previously planned, the school said.

“In light of the diminished benefits and increased risks currently associated with residential education amid New Jersey’s battle against the pandemic, we have decided that our undergraduate program should be fully remote in the fall semester of 2020,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber said in a letter to the university community.

With the next term just weeks away, schools across the U.S. are rushing to remake the higher-education experience for the Covid-19 era. Many are seeking ways to reopen empty dorms and classrooms or shifting to a mix of in-person and virtual classes so they can both safely educate students and protect their own financial health.

Princeton last month outlined plans to return undergraduates in shifts, saying most academic instruction would stay online.

In his letter, Eisgruber said: “This combination of health concerns and restrictions will significantly diminish the educational value of the on‑campus experience. It will also render that experience confining and unpleasant for most students.”

So the reason that I posted this article is to illustrate that people running institutions of higher learning are clearly aware of the dangers faced by students returning to on-campus instruction. 

Now the students that Princeton serves are right on the cusp of adulthood so they could be expected to respect all of the guidelines adopted by the school to keep them safe.

I mean an 18 0r 19-year-old should be able to remember to wear their masks and maintain social distancing without the university staff having to monitor them at all times. 

And yet they have decided that the risk is still too great. 

So I guess my question is if young adults cannot be trusted to keep themselves safe during in-classroom instruction, how in the hell can we expect that of elementary and high school students?