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Mercer students sign petition for online learning option

Mercer University has decided to head back to campus in the fall after a spring semester online and students have concerns.

MACON, Ga. — With just a month before the semester starts, Mercer students are looking for an alternative option instead of going to classes in person.

Rising senior Thomas Eads started a petition.

"The plan they've put together basically ensures that you will be safe when you're in class, when you're studying, that kind of thing. All buildings on campus, you're required to have masks. They're doing temperature checks to get in any buildings," Eads said.

As of this week, the Mercer University Bears are prepping for in-person classes in the fall.

"They're even giving us a kit with a mask so if you don't have one, you will have one, they're giving out unlimited hand sanitizer and they say they can test every student whenever they want to test," he said.

Eads says he and other students aren't completely confident this will work. That's why he started a petition asking the school's administration to give the option of online learning.

"It's gotten obvious to me that it's not necessarily going to be safe and it's inevitable that there's going to be multiple clusters on campus," he said.

Eads is not the only student with concerns. Junior Adri Rosario says she's concerned with the amount of positive cases that could come back from the constant testing.

"They say that they have a place for quarantine, which is good, but a place for quarantine is going to have a capacity, you're gonna hit a limit at some point. We haven't been told what that limit is," she says.

Sanaa Yusuf is also a junior and she says she worries about classmates who may not take the precautions seriously.

"There are definitely students who don't care, and see the pandemic as very inevitable and are like, 'I'm only gonna be hurt to a certain degree so it's fine if I get hurt', but then they're not considering holistically everyone else on campus," she said.

So far the petition has over 400 signatures and Eads says school leaders have been receptive.

The current start date for the fall semester is Aug. 18.

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