Campus community voices their concerns with the CARES center

Davis Cobb, Correspondent

STATESBORO — In a recent Google Form sent by The George-Anne, students and faculty on campus are speaking up on how the university has handled the outbreak and return to classes.

A notable portion of responses have voiced their opinions regarding the new CARES center, which was recently created by the university in response to the pandemic’s spread on campus.

“I was tested and was negative,” reported a faculty member. “My more pressing issue is the fact that [the CARES team] is not effective. We have had several instances where the students are not getting information in a timely manner for the faculty to make decisions about class and clinical. In essence, sending students that are potentially infectious to hospital clinical situations.”

The CARES Center was developed to provide students and faculty with a way to self-report confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, as well as answer questions and offer needed advice. However, the responses to it have been generally negative, citing poor response times or unhelpful and inaccurate information.

“I didn’t have COVID but I was exposed. I submitted the form and didn’t hear anything from the COVID team until this morning. It’s been 3 weeks. I know they probably have a lot of forms and stuff to do but they should get to you quicker. Maybe they need more staff members to tackle everything. Whatever it is, they need a quick solution.” Said a student.

Some students and faculty have also reported more positive experiences with the center, noting not only helpful and speedy assistance, but also providing a kind and courteous experience.

“They [CARES] were super helpful when making sure I understood what resources were available,” reported a student. “They double checked throughout the call to make sure I actually understood what was going on. They also did so without making me feel like it was my fault I got sick or that I did something wrong.”

The George-Anne provided these comments to Jennifer Wise, director of communications, who said the team members have been working all day and into the night.

“The CARES Team is made up of faculty, staff and students who agreed to help in this effort to keep the Georgia Southern community safe. They have responded to a considerable number of questions and requests since the CARES Center launched about a month ago. Members of the CARES Team spend their days and evenings helping with a wide range of needs that arise from the reports by our students and employees and should be commended for their role in the decreasing numbers of cases reported over the last few weeks. We care about each and every report that comes in to the CARES Team and are constantly working to ensure that we are offering the best possible service to our students, faculty and staff.”