EDITORIAL: MU must better prepare students for quarantine possibility


Photo by Joceline Helmbreck

A 14-day quarantine was enacted in Schroeder Hall after an increase in COVID-19 cases in the building.

As the likelihood of Marquette University residence halls going under quarantine increases due to a steady climb of COVID-19 cases on campus, it is imperative the university is more transparent and communicative with students regarding the possibility of quarantining. 

Residents of Schroeder Hall were notified around 7 p.m. Sept. 14 that a quarantine would be enacted for 14 days beginning 10 p.m. that same day.

The email from the vice president of student affairs and chair of the COVID-19 response team Xavier Cole informed them that the decision to send residents into quarantine was the result of an increase in COVID-19 cases and a confirmed cluster in the building. 

Approximately 11, or 3%, of the 373 residents tested positive for COVID-19 in the building. 

Many students were crunched for time, panicking to try to pick up groceries, call family and friends and figure out how to leave on or off-campus jobs because the quarantine started at 10 p.m., a short time after they were notified.  

Giving students only two and a half hours is insufficient and irresponsible.

Students rushing in clusters to grocery stores and into the residence hall creates the possibility for more contact, and therefore, more potential to increase the spread. 

Moreover, giving this little notice may have created anxiety for residents, as they also had to make sure they had the necessary resources to complete their classwork under quarantine for two weeks. 

Schroeder residents said some students were crying while calling their family as they tried to figure out their plan for the next two weeks, according to a previous Marquette Wire article.  

They were encouraged in the email to stay in the residence hall for the two weeks. If students decided to leave campus to quarantine, they have to “stay off-campus for all 14 days and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of returning to post-14 day quarantine,” according to the email. 

Having to quarantine is already a very stressful situation, and students should not have to experience the additional stress of having to figure out their school and life plans within a two-hour period.

With no possibility of leaving the building during the quarantine period, it was essential that residents were given enough time to prepare. 

The email to Schroeder residents also said they will be receiving resources for pastoral care, academic services and mental health resources from the Counseling Center. 

While these efforts to support students’ mental health during their quarantine may be well-intentioned, it is unlikely the Counseling Center will be prepared to adequately help 373 students at once. 

The pandemic has brought a lot of unprecedented changes, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, which has created a lot of stress and anxiety. 

The university must be mindful of this when informing the Marquette community of changes to campus, and give residents and residence hall staff at least two to three days notice in advance so they can prepare to quarantine. 

This would allow students enough time to contact their families, buy groceries and gather the necessary materials they need for classes.

Students living in other residence halls on campus must be given earlier notice and sufficient time and resources if they are to go under a quarantine in the future.  



Editorial topics by the Marquette Wire are decided at weekly meetings between members of the executive board. The editorial is crafted with leadership by the executive opinions editor. The executive board consists of the executive director of the Wire, managing editor of the Marquette Tribune, managing editor of the Marquette Journal, general manager of MUTV, general manager of MUR and nine additional top editors across the organization.