By Paula Ebben

WORCESTER (CBS) – Clark University is moving forward with a plan to reopen its campus, despite a student petition which has gathered hundreds of signatures.

“I think they’re doing the best they can, but the information that students are getting and the plans that they have in place, in my opinion, just aren’t sufficient,” said Caitlyn Angeletti, a junior at the Worcester college. “I think it’s irresponsible.”

Angeletti signed the petition, which asks Clark to rescind the decision to hold classes on campus this fall.

Senior Charles Tall wrote the petition. “You’re welcoming thousands of students into this… tiny community,” he said. “It’s incredibly irresponsible.”

Clark plans to test all students when they arrive. After that, students will be tested every three days. Faculty and staff who interact with students will be tested weekly, and all other staff twice a month.

It’s not enough for Angeletti, who will stay home and study remotely because she has asthma. She says it’s been a struggle to put together a schedule.

“It’s been really difficult trying to find classes that are fully remote or professors who are willing to accommodate their course to be fully remote.”

Tall is going back, but worries what will happen. He will be living off campus with three fellow students.

“One of them works at a grocery store,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable having to go to in-person classes when one of my own roommates is an essential worker and he’s right there.”

In a statement, Clark University said it “respects and values the perspectives of those within our community who may disagree with our decision to reopen for the fall semester.

“We have worked diligently and thoroughly this summer to prepare for the return of our students, faculty, and staff in a way that protects their health and safety while preserving the campus experience during an extraordinary time.”

The petition that opposes in-person classes has collected more than 600 signatures, but Tall says the school told him it would not reconsider.

Student arrivals on campus will be staggered, beginning this weekend. Classes are Clark due to resume August 24.

Paula Ebben

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