According to the UofSC COVID Dashboard, the university had 168 active cases as of September 16, a significant decrease from the 1,461 cases reported on September 3. How was the university able to make so much headway in fighting back against the virus devastating the nation? Bob Caslen gave the following statement on Monday:
“As we’ve said from the very beginning, our plan is built to be dynamic and flexible, and we continue to adapt our work to meet the ever-changing public health needs on our campus. Our recent drop in active COVID cases is thanks to one of our newest policies affecting the campus dining hall; we have replaced every part of the floor not covered by a “STAND HERE” social distancing sticker with a landmine.”
In an unprecedented and bold move, UofSC drafted and implemented a proposal over the weekend replacing the floor tiles in their dining hall, Russell House, with pressure-activated landmines. Students can only enter and exit the dining hall by jumping between stickers two meters apart.
“These kids refused to listen, no matter how many emails I had my people send for me. It’s like they just didn’t understand that the only reason we’re seeing this spike is because of how close they get to each other in the Chick-Fil-A line,” said Caslen. “Then, within two days of the landmines, we saw our numbers drop tremendously.” When asked to clarify if he meant the active cases or student population, he refused to comment.
In an email informing students about the changes, Caslen said, “Think of it like this. You all “pledged Columbia,” right? You all swore to keep our community safe? Then why am I getting a thousand emails a day complaining that you want the landmines removed? Because last I checked, a man’s word is his honor, and you all gave your word to modify your actions as guidelines adapted over time. You know what, just for this insolence, I’m putting them in the dorms, too.”
Concerns about cost have been met with assurances that while the initial installation was pricey, the number of landmines replaced every day has decreased rapidly. At press time, the new on-site UofSC construction team was repairing three blown-out windows on the second level of Russell House.