Students return to U of M campus

WATCH: 4,000 students return to U of M campus for in-person learning

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis began allowing students to voluntarily return Monday.

While some students were eager to return, others felt the exact opposite.

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“I personally don’t want to come back because of coronavirus,” said Eric Barretto, University of Memphis student.

Barretto believed it was too soon for the school to allow more students to return.

“The school should still be telling people to stay home because the cases aren’t dropping,” said Baretto.

The university increased the in-person learning capacity from 500 students to 4000.

Some welcomed the increase.

“As long as we follow the safety procedures and stay distant. It helps the learning experience overall,” Mary Mitchell, University of Memphis student.

Provost and Executive Vice President Tom Nenon said the relatively low community spread level, positivity rate and effective contact tracing contributed to the classroom is one of the safest spaces for the faculty and students anywhere.

The university experienced two COVID-19 clusters causing the school leaders to postpone phase two of the return but not cancel in-person learning altogether.

“Those were effectively managed, and I think having that showed our ability to manage that in a reasonable way,” said Nenon.

The CDC said there’s been a 55 percent increase in COVID19 cases among 18 to 22 year-olds due in large part to students returning to school.

Nenon said at some of those campuses, kids are going to party.

However, at U of M, he said, “Our students work.”