When colleges raced ahead with in-person schooling despite surging caseloads and early outbreaks, it became a question of who would shoulder the blame if COVID-19 spiraled further out of control. Notre Dame president Reverend John Jenkins — the same guy who attended the maskless White House superspreader party for Amy Coney Barrett — has taken to scolding his students for violating coronavirus guidelines. After Notre Dame football upset the No. 1 ranked Clemson Tigers on Saturday, students flooded onto the field in celebration. Even though most kids were wearing masks, they were still right on top of each other.
“The grave circumstances of this pandemic compel us to take these exceptional measures,” Jenkins writes.
According to TMZ, Jenkins penned a harsh letter for students, urging them to comply with the school's coronavirus guidelines amid “the grave circumstances of this pandemic”:
“As exciting as last night's victory against Clemson was, it was very disappointing to see evidence of widespread disregard of our health protocols at many gatherings over the weekend.”
Elsewhere, Jenkins reaffirms “zero tolerance” for gatherings that don’t comply with safety discretions. He also notes that the university will place a hold on course registration for students who fail to appear for testing when asked. Buddy!
All of this would be significantly easier to take seriously if Jenkins himself hadn’t tested positive for coronavirus after the Barrett nomination party. He’s long been a staunch proponent for reopening universities, and wrote an op-ed for the New York Times back in May, advocating for “moral value” that supersedes scientific insight. Just last week, Jenkins dodged a vote of no confidence from the University of Notre Dame’s Faculty Senate, and simply received a vote of disappointment over attending Barrett’s party without a mask.
It's one of those cases where students should absolutely be doing their due diligence to protect themselves and classmates. But when the adults in the room are doing an even worse job of managing the virus in their own lives...who do you expect them to listen to?