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Troubles for TQUN (Those Quarantiners Up North)

Troubles for TQUN (Those Quarantiners Up North)

Nicholas Youngblood

It looks like Ohio State’s winning streak against Michigan is continuing this year, but this time it’s OSU’s COVID-19 response instead of its football team.

University of Michigan student Sam Burnstein posted a TikTok Saturday in which he detailed the terrible conditions in the university’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine housing. The video has since garnered over 500,000 views and nearly 94,000 likes. Since then, more students have come forward to discuss the seemingly unsanitary and unprepared living spaces provided for students exposed to COVID-19.

“I challenge our university’s president, Mark Schlissel, to spend just one night in one of these quarantine apartments and let us all know what you think,”  Burnstein said.

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The university’s student-run paper, The Michigan Daily, released a story Sunday about the housing provided for isolated or quarantined students. According to the report, students said the rooms were not clean upon arrival, and there were no provided bedsheets, microwaves, or trash cans, among other important supplies. There were also many complaints about the inability to receive adequate hot meals.

In Burnstein’s TikTok, he lays out similar concerns. He said the students’ saving grace has been the Graduate Employees Organization, which is currently on strike demanding safer conditions. Burnstein and the Daily report both said the GEO delivered food and supplies for the students.

As of Monday, the University of Michigan reported 20 students in isolation who tested positive for COVID-19 and 55 quarantined students who were exposed or are awaiting test results.

The university has painted a different picture of what is going on in these apartments.

“Students are able to bring with them what they need to be comfortable during their stay in quarantine,” said University of Michigan spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen in an email. “Michigan Dining, which delivers meals by request for those with a meal plan, will soon be delivering all meals in microwavable packaging. In response to recent feedback, we are busy upgrading some of the amenities. For example, we are adding more meal deliveries.”

The email goes on to state that each apartment comes with a furnished bedroom, including sheets, blankets, and pillowcases, and a kitchen with a refrigerator and oven, contradicting some of the claims from students. Broekhuizen said the university is procuring microwaves for each apartment.

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