Editorial: Should HSU follow UA?


University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas is enforcing strict COVID-19 guidelines for their students, on and off campus.

The Oracle Staff

The University of Arkansas has decided that no gathering of 10 or more people is allowed on or off campus this semester. Should Henderson consider adopting similar restrictions?


All campus events have been cancelled this semester at UA and students are having to follow the school’s guidelines even while off campus. If students are caught on Dickson Street, Fayetteville’s main strip for nightlife, without a mask they will be considered to be in violation of the student code of conduct.


“So, I think every institution handles these things differently,” Brad Patterson, vice president of student affairs said. “I understand why they did that. I don’t think that we would.” 


Here at the Oracle, we believe Henderson should take a page from the University of Arkansas’s book, but it should be adjusted to fit Henderson. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to Covid-19, but Henderson should see how other colleges around the state are handling the spread and take notes.


There are many differences in Henderson and the University of Arkansas, an obvious one being the size of the student body. Henderson has a little over one-tenth the student enrollment that UA has in a typical school year.


Even though we have significantly fewer students, the danger is still just as present. It does not take much for an area to become a hotspot overnight.


Some here at Henderson take a more laissez-faire stance on the issue. Gatherings of more than 10 can be safe if the proper precautions are taken to ensure the safety of everyone present.


“As long as they’re being safe about it, wearing masks and social distancing,” junior music education major, Terry Gist said. “But once it starts becoming unsafe is when it becomes a problem.”


With a decrease in enrollment, Henderson reportedly stands to lose $2.3 million this semester and it may be unrealistic that the university will use its resources on breaking up parties and get-togethers.


“I think that decisions like this should be left to public health/epidemiology experts, driven by science, and implemented by elected officials at the highest levels of state and federal government,” James Engman, professor of biology stated. 


There is a fine line between letting students do what they want and being overbearing. Letting kids party and gather in large groups and hoping that nothing happens just is not a good policy.