Punishments for missing tests aren’t overly harsh

By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer

Baylor University announced on Jan. 13 that students would be required to take a weekly self-administered COVID-19 test. In an email that was sent to students, Baylor said they believe the testing “will be key, along with current preventive health measures, to unlocking normalcy as the semester progresses and open the potential for more in-person events and activities.”

Along with this announcement came the news that students would be punished if they missed two or more of the weekly tests. Contrary to what some said in the comment section of a certain @BARSTOOL_SICEM Instagram post, these punishments are a good thing and not unfair in the slightest.

First, it is important to acknowledge that taking a COVID-19 test once a week is not a hard thing to do. Furthermore, Baylor has gone out of its way to make the testing process as easy and painless as possible. Students are given an hour and thirty-minute time slot to take the test and were allowed to change their time slot if it did not fit into their schedule.

Even if someone were to miss their time slot, they are still allowed to make-up the test later in the week. They will be able to walk-in during a time of their choosing and take the test. Essentially, there is no real reason why a student should miss one of the weekly tests.

However, if one should miss a COVID-19 test, the punishments are fair and not overly harsh. Missing two tests results in a ban from University or student organization activities, such as All University SING or athletic events, while three missed tests will result in a loss of WIFI access for the rest of the semester.

These punishments are aimed at keeping students who are unwilling to submit to the weekly testing off of campus as much as possible because they would have a higher likelihood of having COVID-19. The punishments aren’t about getting justice for those who don’t show up for the tests, it’s about protecting those who do. Regardless, due to the ease at which one can access these weekly tests, missing two or more of these tests would only be the result of deliberate ignorance, not forgetfulness.

And while the cost of access to WIFI and University activities such as athletic events are included in our tuition, we are not guaranteed access to them if our conduct is detrimental to the school and our peers. During a global pandemic, everyone must have increased responsibility.

This is exactly why these punishments are necessary. If the coronavirus has taught us anything, it is that people have a tendency to be selfish and irresponsible. These punishments are necessary, as without them many would skip their tests and the entire spirit of weekly testing would be ruined. Why would Baylor not enforce punishments for not taking mandatory COVID-19 tests when the health and safety of thousands of students is on the line?

At the end of the day, the only people who should be angry or afraid about the potential consequences of not completing their weekly test are those who are incapable of handling responsibility. And if that is truly the case, they probably don’t belong on a college campus anyway, especially during a global pandemic.