• Beth & Tim Manners

The New York Times: "At campuses across the country, self-serve stations, where students can make their own salads or taco bowls, will be eliminated; instead, masked-and-gloved workers, shielded by plexiglass barriers, will serve nearly everything. Gone, too, will be condiment and coffee stations, replaced by single-serving ketchup and salad-dressing packets and paper cups that many schools were triumphantly phasing out in an effort to reduce waste. Several universities are even using robots to prepare food and deliver it."

"Sodexo, the food service giant that operates at some 600 campuses in the United States, has created a training module called the Six Foot Kitchen, which provides guidance on how to create safe kitchen environments — everything from tape marks on the floor to mark safe distances, to protocols for accepting deliveries and managing storage. Sodexo is also turning to technology for help. At two of the universities it works with, the company has robots ready to deliver food to students outside dining halls and food courts."

"George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., is one of those schools. When its 36,000 students head back to school on Aug. 24, Sodexo will have 43 robots — essentially high-tech coolers on wheels — ready to deliver meals and snacks from Starbucks, Dunkin’ and other brands. Students order via an app, food workers load the order into the robot, then the robot drives itself to the appointed location, whether that’s a dorm or a bench near the library."

  • Beth & Tim Manners

CNBC: "Tulane is banning all parties or gatherings of more than 15 people as the private college tries to protect students and staff against spreading the coronavirus. Violators will risk suspension or expulsion ...The private school, while boasting an 11% acceptance rate for the incoming freshman class, is the fifth top party school in the U.S., according to the Princeton Review ... Tulane’s announcement comes as colleges try to balance holding in-person classes in the fall against the public health risks."

"Cornell University leadership, notably, cited school researchers who found the virus would be more likely to spread with classes solely online than a hybrid model, since students living off-campus would return to campus and not have to partake in mandated testing required for learning on campus if only taking online courses."

"Tulane’s reopening plan requires students starting class Aug. 19, five days earlier than originally planned, and ending the semester Nov. 24, with most exams happening online after Thanksgiving. Tulane plans to test all students upon arrival, provide frequent testing throughout the semester and put less people than normal in housing and classrooms."

  • Beth & Tim Manners

The New York Times: "Amid a national accounting over entrenched and systemic racism after Mr. Floyd’s death in police custody on Memorial Day, at least a dozen schools have rescinded admissions offers to incoming students over instances of racism that circulated widely online, often after outraged students and university alumni demanded swift action. In this digital age, when social media posts can ricochet across the internet at furious speed, the message from those universities to the students caught posting racist sentiments online has been uncompromising: You are no longer welcome here."

"While private schools are not bound by the First Amendment and its protection of speech, public universities, as government institutions, must contend with the potential legal consequences of penalizing students for racist or sexist language ... But the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to be admitted to a state university with an admissions process that considers 'the whole person,' beyond just grades and test scores."

"In some cases, the revoked admissions offers are the results of concerted efforts by teenagers who have leveraged large social media followings and created Google spreadsheets to collect and document racist and offensive behavior with screenshots, videos and the names of those involved ... While the pushback from universities appears to have spiked in the weeks since Mr. Floyd’s killing, they are not limited to incoming freshmen. In early June, a student at Clemson University was included in an online spreadsheet that listed the personal information of young people who had reportedly posted racist content online."