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How Should Colleges Reopen? There’s No Easy Answer

(Bloomberg Opinion) — How parents and students feel about the fast-approaching specter of college reopenings this fall has been debated — perhaps exhaustively — in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic. Can we do it safely? Should we send them back at all? Will young adults wear masks and abide by social-distancing guidelines? To get a better sense of the other side of the equation, we asked Bloomberg Opinion contributors who are also educators for their views on getting back in the classroom, whether physical or virtual.

Andrea Gabor, Baruch College

I mostly teach journalism to undergraduates at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York, in lower Manhattan. Most classes are taught in 14- and 16-story buildings. Elevator lines are long. A street below is closed to traffic, creating a small common space outdoors that’s often crowded with students.

Most of our 18,000-plus students commute via bus

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With college looming, experts answer 6 of parents’ most pressing questions

No one knows what the new academic year will look like at colleges. <span class="copyright">(Simone Noronha / For The Times)</span>
No one knows what the new academic year will look like at colleges. (Simone Noronha / For The Times)

When civil engineering student Itzel Zapata returned to Cal Poly last month, her mother, Rebecca, sent her to San Luis Obispo prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I packed face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes,” the Palmdale food services manager said. “We have to be prepared. I’m making sure both my daughters can identify the signs and know to quarantine themselves. I told them, ‘Let’s stay safe, healthy and make sure we stay alive.’”

As coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in California and across the country, Zapata said she is admittedly relieved Itzel is only three hours away and younger daughter Mariah, 18, who missed out on many milestones marking her senior year in high school, will be living at home when her fall classes start at the College of the Canyons in

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A force for good or a digital witchhunt? The answer is complicated.

The latest celebrity to enter the social discourse surrounding online cancellation: Nick Cannon.

The comedian’s name trended on Twitter Wednesday after he was fired by ViacomCBS over “hateful speech.” The news added fuel to the debate over whether holding celebrities accountable for their opinions has gone too far.

Some argued that the host of “Wild ‘n Out,” which airs on VH1 and MTV, should be “canceled,” which often entails boycotting a famous person’s work. Others questioned: “What happened to Freedom of Speech?

Twitter has become a powerful court of public opinion and “cancel culture” plays a role. The phenomenon occurs when people get upset about something that a company or person has done or something they have said. It also can be divisive with opposers saying threats of cancellation stifles free speech.

It’s hard to deny that cancel culture has sparked important conversations and change—as when #Oscarssowhite trended

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