Illinois State University recently made the decision to have random testing for student employees, students living on-campus and students who are taking classes in person.
The university will send out an email to those randomly chosen to get tested, and they are required to complete the COVID-19 screening when selected.
“That testing program further helps to identify cases within the campus community so that quarantine and isolation procedures can be put into place to help contain the spread of the virus,” Director of Media Relations Eric Jome said.
Many students are unhappy about the fact that they are requiring testing for students as they may feel it is unfair or unorganized.
“I honestly find it a little strange that out of the blue they decided to do so. You would think they would’ve done this in the beginning to contain COVID-19 instead of letting the outbreak occur as it did,” freshman English education major Brianna Zangara said.
ISU made the decision to make COVID-19 testing optional at the beginning of the fall semester, allowing students to get tested at their own convenience.
“I feel like it’s unorganized because they decided to do this out of nowhere. If it was an organized decision it would’ve been implemented in the first place,” Zangara said.
On the other hand, some students feel that it is one of the most thought out decisions ISU has made so far this year.
“I think it’s really great that ISU is cracking down a little bit more now. Our case numbers have been so high, and it’s definitely been nerve wracking walking around campus knowing anyone might be sick and ignoring symptoms,” freshman marketing major Ela Messina said.
The reduction in positive test results may have been a result from the recent random testing efforts ISU has made for students.
“Through concerted testing efforts, health education messaging and cooperative action with the Town of Normal and the Mclean County Health Department, the number of positive cases in the campus community has decreased significantly,” Jome said.
Sophomore elementary education major Mackenzie Hodge agreed with the decision to require random testing for on-campus students.
“I think it’s a great idea that ISU began to test randomly. I feel that this means we’re on track to have more in person and hybrid classes next semester,” Hodge said.
More testing could definitely lead to more in-person classes in the semesters to come. The more students get the testing out of the way, the faster they can return to campus.
“The tests are free and do not take up much time to go get. You get your results back quickly too. I think because of the diversion of tests at the beginning of the semester, it was hard for them to accommodate random testing. Now that they have a steady flow of tests, they can test and help tackle the virus,” Hodge said.
ISU provides free testing services for on-campus students that attend the university. Many students have begun utilizing these free tests so that they do not have to waste their time and money somewhere else.
“It would have been ideal for them to sooner, but it wasn’t really possible without a flow of tests. Hopefully with the lab and tests they are working on with U of I, we can get on track to our new ‘normal,’” Hodge said.