University students hit by Covid: “Why did they send us here? “

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Media legendNell Manson and Lucy Owens self-isolate at Glasgow University

Students caught in a wave of Covid epidemics wondered why college rooms were allowed to open.

They have been told not to visit pubs or restaurants this weekend or to return home after hundreds of students across Scotland tested positive for the virus.

However, many called the outbreaks inevitable as students were encouraged to return to campus.

The Scottish government has said all efforts are being focused on stopping transmission of the virus.

One of the most affected rooms is that of Glasgow University’s Murano Street Residences, where at least 172 students have tested positive for Covid-19 and hundreds more are self-isolating.

Lucy Owens, a student living in the Murano complex with coronavirus, asked why the students were brought back given so much learning had been moved online.

She asked the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland show: ‘Why are we paying? I could do whatever I do from home, so why did they send us here?

“I know we get the most out of this accommodation because we’re stuck there all day, but we’re not really enjoying being in college.

“Putting two thousand students in such a confined area, something like that had to happen. ”

Nell Manson, another student, said keeping students out of pubs and restaurants was not the answer.

She said: “There will be more going on in the accommodations.

“In pubs and restaurants there are a lot of social distancing measures, you can’t even get up from the table without a mask.

“It lends itself to people who socialize otherwise where there are no such strict rules. “

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Glasgow students were tested and told to self-isolate


Tessa Morrison, 17, who studies politics at the University of Glasgow, said she had been diagnosed positive with Covid and was living with 10 other people, some of whom were also infected with the virus.

The students all have their own bedroom but share two bathrooms and a kitchen.

She said it was’ hard to avoid people ‘in this setup, adding,’ They should have waited until at least Christmas to let us come here, I think they’re just trying to make money by being in the hallways and they knew it was inevitably going to happen. ”

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The University of Glasgow said the positive cases were due to social activity during Freshers Week


There are currently around 250,000 students in Scotland, of which up to 35,000 live in university halls and 10,000 in private halls.

Outbreaks of Covid have been reported in residences in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Arturo Morselli, an Italian student studying at St Andrews University but living in Dundee, said he felt left in limbo by the current situation.

He said: “I am convinced that universities try to avoid responsibility in the sense that they do not make decisions.

“We students are caught in the fact that no one wants to take responsibility for what’s going on and we’re the ones who are caught and we don’t know if it’s worth the money we’re paying. “

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Isobelle Robinson-Gordon

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Isobelle Robinson-Gordon described her university experience to date as “very ostracizing”


Isobelle Robinson-Gordon, a freshman at the University of Edinburgh, said her experience had been “very isolating” so far.

She said: “I moved to Edinburgh. I am in accommodation, but all learning is online. I am frustrated.

“Lots of students are here and ready to learn, but it’s all online. It is the lack of direction. It’s debilitating.

“We have not received any guidance from the university. Everything we learn comes from the media. “

‘Essentially imprisoned’

Helen Kirkpatrick’s daughter is a second year student at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and is staying in private rooms.

She said: “After going back there, she found out that all classes will be online during the first semester.

“She signed a deal and paid a lot of money to stay there and why? Now, is she essentially imprisoned? ”

“She could have studied at home – I think the Scottish government could have handled that better. “

“It is not about stigmatizing the students”

Scottish universities have agreed to introduce a ‘yellow card, red card’ system for student discipline violations that put students and others at risk, which could result in the termination of their studies.

Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said that, and the restrictions on hosting over the weekend, were aimed at trying to stop the spread of the virus.

He said: ‘This is a request from the Scottish university student body. The Scottish government is backing this, but universities are jointly asking students across Scotland this weekend – given that we have a number of virus outbreaks and some campuses across Scotland – to spend the weekend end without socializing with households. ”

“The vast majority of the students have been so responsible that it is a very difficult time for them. ”

Mr Lochhead added that “this is not to stigmatize students, it is not to say that they are particularly responsible for what is happening”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government was trying to strike the right balance between protecting public health and ensuring a ‘degree of normalcy around education’.

She told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “Students deserve to have a campus experience. They deserve to have some kind of normalcy in their life. Thus, people will have different views on rights and wrongs. “

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