Over the summer, Valpo announced their fall reopening plans, which included having students self-report their temperature via the Campus Clear app.
When I first heard about this, I began wondering if they were going to be sending out thermometers, or if students were going to be required to purchase them personally.
In a document published by the university on July 9, it was stated that students would be sent a thermometer in the mail, along with a letter explaining the expectations for their return to campus.
After this, I hadn’t gone out to buy one because I was under the impression that they would be providing one for us.
Later that month, an email from Julie DeGraw was sent to students saying that thermometers would be available to students who wanted them once they arrived on campus, however they were encouraged to buy their own.
At this point I was slightly annoyed, as they were going back on their word. However, I still did not go out and purchase my own because I was just planning on waiting to pick one up once campus reopened.
However, once move in was over and classes had already started, there had still been no word about these thermometers being available for students.
Since it was made clear to students that they needed to self monitor their temperature, I went out to buy a thermometer.
On Aug. 18, the second day of classes, students finally received an email saying that if they would like a thermometer from the university, they were now able to be requested.
Of course I filled out this form because I wanted to get my thermometer from the university just to have a backup, and I figured that it would only take a day or two due to the urgency of the situation-- I was wrong.
It wasn’t until Aug. 25, a little over a week after the first week of classes and almost two weeks after freshman had moved in, that I got an email saying that my thermometer was ready to pick up.
I am thankful that I was able to purchase my own thermometer. However, it made me think about those students who weren’t able to go out and purchase their own thermometer.
On the sheet that students received with their thermometers, it reads that the thermometer is a “3M TempaDOT Single-Use Clinical Thermometer.” However, it then states that it may be used multiple times if stored and cleaned properly between uses.
After finding out about this, I didn’t even go to pick up the thermometer, as I figured it would be a waste of time.
I find it comical that since students are required to take their temperatures are given two single use thermometers, which they have to use for the whole semester.
While it might be true that proper storing and cleaning will make it to where you can use the thermometer more than once, I am not so sure that this method would allow you to use the same two thermometers for approximately three months.
Before thermometers were available to students, I was getting hopeful for what I was going to get, as I saw many students at different universities opening their “back to school kits” from their university. Items included branded face masks, plastic reusable thermometers, hand sanitizer and like items.
I understand that buying thermometers for students can cost a lot of money for the university, but the price seems small when it means keeping students safe.
Overall, I was glad that the university was able to give students a thermometer, but I feel that more consideration should have been given to those who cannot afford to buy a more reliable one, as we are in the middle of a pandemic.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.