UW sophomore and District 8 Ald. Max Prestigiacomo continues to push his proposed resolution to amend the university’s COVID-19 plan following the passage of a similar resolution by Dane County.
Prestigiacomo’s resolution proposes eight changes to the University of Wisconsin’s “Smart Restart” plan and he hopes the changes will reduce the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the community of Madison, according to the Cap Times.
“I hope this resolution adds to the enormous momentum in this community,” Prestigiacomo said in an email to the Cap Times. “Rarely are resolutions passed related to University operations.”
Prestigiacomo’s resolution was originally introduced on Oct. 6 and will be in front of City Council on Oct. 20.
The resolution recommends that all classes move online and that all of the students on campus are sent home until Dane County has zero cases over a two-week period. There would be exceptions made for international students and those who would be financially burdened, according to the Cap Times.
The resolution also pushes for the expansion of testing and contact tracing, stricter precautions to prevent the virus from spreading and a reconsideration of the plan to move forward with the Big Ten football season.
Prestigiacomo said to the Cap Times that people living downtown can see the effects of UW’s decision every weekend when there are students around that have no reason for being there. Despite community and campus leader demands, Prestigiacomo said he has not seen much seriousness in the university’s response.
“If UW Administrators can’t meet this moment they should resign immediately,” Prestigiacomo said.
In September, UW’s COVID-19 cases spiked, forcing the school to quarantine two of the largest residence halls and hold all classes online for two weeks. UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a Cap Times Idea Fest Panel that when the University acted aggressively, the cases went down dramatically.
UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said in an email to the Cap Times that students are important members of the community and help support the local economy. Most students living off-campus would stay in Madison if classes went entirely online, McGlone said.
The campus supplies students with access to the internet, study spaces and a place to vote if students have already registered here, McGlone said in the Cap Times statement.
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“The university, the city and the county need to work together to make sure that all people – students and non-students alike – follow county health protocols and remain healthy,” McGlone said in the statement to the Cap Times.
According to the Smart Restart Dashboard, the cases at UW have stayed below 3% over the past two weeks.