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Is It Really ‘All Here?’

by Carley Campbell

When I look out the window of my dorm, I see the hills rolling down to the main roads and the New York City skyline’s silhouette on the horizon. It is the sense of freedom that gets me out of bed every morning and keeps me from my bed until late at night. When I enrolled at Montclair State University, I was told, “It’s all here.”

Effective Nov. 9th, we will no longer be able to leave Montclair State for work, or for healthcare without a waiver. Waivers will be mandatory to go to the grocery store to pick up food items, to go to a pharmacy to get necessary prescriptions, even to go to work to get the money needed to be a student here on campus.

Residential students were aware when we signed the paperwork to get our rooms that there would be restrictions such as Hawk Check, mask-wearing and not having guests. However, we were not told outright that if we were to stay on campus, we would essentially be made to stay forever.

While this change may be for the “greater good,” it still entails serious consequences. Students who need medication delivered by family members will be unable to access it safely. Students who depend on part-time and full-time employment will need permission from the school to go to their jobs.

It is one thing to go out and party, putting yourself and others at risk for the sake of selfishness, but it is another to block students from being able to cross the street to go to a grocery store that sells necessities. Even with online shopping and meal delivery options, students, as well as those workers, are given an undue burden to get basic necessities. For one thing, it means a student paying $25 for simple groceries would have to contend with paying exorbitant delivery fees and the possibility of a lost driver ending up on the wrong side of campus.

Katlyn Pruitt | The Montclarion

Katlyn Pruitt | The Montclarion

If the visitor restriction reads as it does in the email sent out by Montclair State President Susan Cole, it could mean that there is a ban on delivery drivers for the Amazon lockers, food delivery workers and even parents dropping off rolls of toilet paper to their children at school.

If this is to be enforced as strictly as it is stated in the email, it could spell trouble for students who plan on staying until Dec. 14. Those students might not be able to work, go grocery shopping or walk outside for some fresh air.

Sure, the new restrictions may seem sensible on paper, but it makes for a bureaucratic mess students will suffer through and will overall create a less than stellar image for Montclair State.

This will necessitate some form of clarification from the office of the president. It is one thing for Residence Life to send out a cheeky email saying, “stay in the bubble, stay out of trouble,” but receiving a serious and sobering email stating that, effective immediately, students cannot leave campus, is an entirely different and far more concerning notion.

There is a certain irony in proclaiming “it’s all here” and then banning students from leaving their dorms to ensure they experience it.

  • Correction: This article originally stated “Effective Nov. 9th, we will no longer be able to leave Montclair State for work, or for healthcare that the university cannot provide,” but has now been changed to “Effective Nov. 9th, we will no longer be able to leave Montclair State for work, or for healthcare without a waiver” due to being fact-checked.

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