Princeton student says his college experience 'basically ruined by COVID'

Princeton University mandates COVID booster, masks; restricts travel while on campus

Campus Reform correspondent and Princeton University student Myles McKnight on the strict COVID rules implemented by the university

College student Myles McKnight, speaking on “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday morning, said he believes his university experience at Princeton is basically being “ruined” by COVID and the latest COVID-related rules and restrictions that are being put into place by his school’s administration. 

“The university [has] these requirements in light of surging COVID cases in the New Jersey and New York area. Some of them are reasonable,” McKnight said, “but there are some that are cause for confusion.”

A growing number of universities has implemented new restrictions and mandates, given the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 — although the CDC on Tuesday significantly reduced its estimate of omicron’s prevalence in the US.

Princeton University student Myles McKnight spoke to "Fox & Friends First" on Wednesday, Dec. 28. 2021, about the latest COVID mandates and restrictions his university has put in place. 

Princeton, for example, has now mandated the COVID booster shot for all students. In addition, students must show a negative test before stepping onto the campus. The school is also restricting student travel outside of the immediate area.

Also, the school has imposed an indoor mask mandate and a 20-person limit to gatherings in dorms. 

The university is delaying students’ return to campus for the spring semester until Jan. 14. That’s a week later than was planned originally, according to a campus announcement made on Monday.

A portion of the Princeton University campus in New Jersey is shown in this image from April 2017. Right now, all students must show a negative COVID test before coming onto campus. There are other mandates as well.
(iStock, File)

McKnight said further on Wednesday about the confusion some students are feeling, “For example, the university wanted to space out [the students’] move-in after winter break, and instead of spacing out moving, they condensed it to one week, causing a lot of students to have to rebook expensive flights and change [their] itinerary. And I think there’s a broader trend here, which is a lot of inconsistency and sort of nonsensicality with some of the policies.” 

The student added, “You know, the university has this new 20-person capacity restriction where we can’t have events of more than 20 people, and [there’s] no food allowed, and so forth. And yet the university is perfectly fine [with] allowing hundreds of students to gather unmasked in large dining halls.”

McKnight went on, “Or, for travel restrictions: Students aren’t able to leave for personal reasons the immediate counties surrounding Princeton University. But, of course, if the basketball team wants to travel to Indianapolis or anywhere else to play, that’s perfectly fine … So it is somewhat confusing, inconsistent, and I think frustrating for sure.”

Princeton University, in a statement, said in part, “We must continue to do everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff,” as “Fox & Friends First” noted.

“They’ve got to let students begin to do their risk calculations and understand that a zero risk strategy is just not workable. What you have to do is mitigation.”

McKnight, who is a member of Campus Reform, said that he is a junior this year. 

“And I think my college experience has basically been ruined by COVID,” he said. 

“I think the university has to take it into consideration that, really, this virus is not going anywhere soon — and that the vaccines were promised [as a] sort of ticket out of the virus.”

College students wear masks in the classroom to protect themselves against the coronavirus. Myles McKnight, a junior at Princeton, spoke to "Fox & Friends First" on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2021, about his concerns related to the new mandates and restrictions on campus.
(iStock, File)

McKnight also noted, “At some point, they’ve got to let students begin to do their risk calculations and understand that a zero-risk strategy is just not workable. What you have to do is mitigation.”

“And, you know, students, I think, are really worried that we’re sort of headed back to where we were last spring with virtual online learning and the really negative mental health consequences [as a result] … And there’s a real concern that that’s where we’re headed.”

Learn more by watching the video at the top of this article — or access it here.  

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