Suppose you’re a greedy college administrator. (But I repeat myself) The dorms are a profit center, at least from the POV on your stakeholders. (The employees.) You want to keep them open, but on the other hand, your employees rather like working from home, and there’s not much point of moving to the dorms if the students are gonna attend lectures in their rooms anyway. Sure, many kids will want to party and be away from Daddy, but Daddy ain’t paying for that. How do you square this circle?
Initially plan to have classes on campus, lure the students into the dorms and wait two weeks for the checks to clear. Then, a case of corona is found on campus. (Who could have predicted that?) So you do what any responsible person would and shut down classes.
There are some things to look at if you suspect your local college did this. Did the standard dorm renting agreements change from last year to enable this strategy? A lot of colleges have a half-and-half model, some classes are gonna be online and some in-person. Are the classes freshmen take disproportionately likely to be in-person?
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This is exactly what our local state U. tried to do, but they got hit by a huge corona spike in the first week and were forced to shut down early, before the deadline when dorm occupancy would’ve reached the date indicating they were entitled to the checks.