Close Down KU's Campus

Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Chancellor Douglas Girod

To the KU student reading this:

While many countries have begun to recover from COVID-19, the United States is one of the few countries in which COVID-19 is still raging in full force. There are numerous factors contributing to this trend - the refusal of the federal government to meaningfully aid working people, the empty virtue signaling of public figures, and the prioritization of productivity and accumulation of wealth over public health.

Our institutions and our government have, in the typical American individualist manner, left us — college students and other vulnerable communities — to fend for ourselves during a global crisis while they collect profit.

Our basic right to a safe and healthy environment must be provided by these institutions, and in turn we must build and support our communities in a global pandemic that threatens everyone around us.

As members of our respective communities, we must collectively demand that our safety and financial security is guaranteed. This means that by signing this petition, we will sacrifice our individual interests for the greater good of the community by demanding that campus closes.

This petition is our demand that Chancellor Girod and Provost Bichelmeyer be accountable for the health of the communities which are profoundly impacted by their decisions.

We must fight for ourselves and the health and safety of our community because, clearly, no one else will.

Petition by
Sponsored by

To: Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Chancellor Douglas Girod
From: [Your Name]

​To: Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer

On April 29, in a letter to the student body, University of Kansas Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said that “at the University of Kansas, one of our guiding principles is to, as much as possible, protect KU students from the impact of the pandemic.” However, recent decisions made by the University demonstrate a disregard for such guiding principles.

On July 29, the University administration announced campus would be re-opening, resulting in the return of nearly 30,000 students, faculty members, and laborers back to campus. This was not only an irresponsible decision, but a dangerous one for the larger Lawrence community.

Though we cannot reverse that decision we demand the following:

1. Close KU’s campus to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2/novel coronavirus.

2. Provide exit testing for all students free of charge.

3. Provide housing to students who are in need of University Housing.

4. Send home students in housing who test negative after the final round of testing and quarantine those who test positive in student housing. Students who are negative, but need University Housing, should be given shelter.

5. Continue to pay laborers within the University of Kansas an average of their recent wages. Including, but not limited to: Memorial Union workers, offices workers, Housing workers, and libraries workers.

6. Hazard Pay for those who must continue to work

7. Implement credit/no credit for students.

The Lawrence community has been vocal in their frustrations with the University’s prioritization of profits over people. Op-eds from community publications such as the University Daily Kansan​, Kansas City Star​, and more have shown dissatisfaction with the reckless decision to re-open campus.

The initial shutdown on March 17th occurred with ZERO cases at the University of Kansas and only one case in Douglas County. If those circumstances were enough to shut down campus, the rapidly increasing number of cases both within the KU community and the Lawrence community should be an alarming prompt to shut down the campus in a safe and effective manner.

As of September 2, the count of KU students positive with COVID-19 is 546.


Jayhawker Liberation Front

Strip Your Letters Movement

Sunrise LFK

Sunrise KU

Ryan Reza, President of Kansas Young Democrats

Ximena Ibarra, Chairperson of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Derek Dunn, Chair of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Emma Whitaker, Secretary of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Melek Ben-Ayed, Engineering Senator and Chairperson of Student Environment Advisory Board

Trey Duran, Law Student Senator and Senior Senator