Marquette University faculty, students stage 'die-in' in response to in-person classes

Marquette University
Posted at 5:41 AM, Aug 27, 2020

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University faculty and students staged a “die-in” in response to the university conducting face-to-face classes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some faculty and students felt that it is unsafe to open for in-person instruction and have decided to speak out against the university.

They put out a statement saying, “Marquette University has failed its students, faculty, and staff.”

The statement also mentions a list of demands for Marquette President Michael Lovell and his administration.

The demands state:1. Faculty and staff should be given discretion over their working conditions, and online work should be accommodated for all.2. The administration should offer voluntary recognition in writing of a union for non-tenure-track faculty, grad workers and any other campus unit interested in organizing to ensure that all employees have a collective voice in their working conditions going forward.3. Given the demonstrated lack of consideration for the well-being of Marquette employees, the administration must give faculty and staff a formal and substantive role in the University's budget process to ensure all reasonable options are considered before laying-off or furloughing workers.4. We demand that Marquette live up to its commitment to racial justice and act as a responsible neighbor in a Near West Side community in which many residents are uninsured and face systematic discrimination in accessing adequate health care.

The die-in was at Zilber Hall on Aug. 26.

Marquette University has since released an official statement in response to the die-in:

"The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is of the utmost importance to Marquette. To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we are opening in a hybrid learning model with fewer students living residentially. Our reopening plan – developed in close coordination with public health experts – was approved by the Milwaukee Health Department and includes daily symptom screening; mandatory mask wearing; free on-campus testing for students; enhanced cleaning protocols; de-densification of residence halls, classroom and activity spaces; a COVID-19 educational module and community pledge; and a mixture of face-to-face, hybrid and online instruction. Our phased approach provides the flexibility to continuously monitor the latest developments and guidance while still providing the personalized, on-campus academic and cocurricular experience that is foundational to our Catholic, Jesuit education."

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