Covid.Campus Snapshot Logo

We want to take a snapshot of life during Covid-19 from the many perspectives of the UO and Lane County community.

Tell us about how Covid has impacted your life, or impacted you.

Tell us your whole story, or just a single moment; something mundane you miss or some major alteration to your life.

Make one submission or tell multiple stories. Your story can be related to school or work but doesn't need to be. You don't need a dramatic angle or a bone to pick -- all experiences are valid.

Our only agenda is to capture as complete of a picture as we can.

Covid Campus Confessions logo

Anonymous to everyone
(don't use your UO email!)
Google Form Anonymous to us & others Instagram DM Anonymous to others

Stories posted to our instagram - @covid.campus


(last updated 11/12/2020)

What about all the good things that people are doing?

We know that many people on campus are working hard to keep campus safe. Students and workers are doing tremendous work keeping campus clean, improving UO’s testing capacity, and following best practices in preventing the spread of covid. The problem in almost all stories that we post is that the university is not giving students and workers the support or resources they need to do their jobs or feel safe on campus. The purpose of our page is not to belittle those efforts, but to amplify the voices of people who do not feel safe and supported in their working and learning environments at UO, and to draw attention to the decisions made by the board of trustees and upper admin that led to the inevitable spread of covid associated with the university.

How do you decide which submissions to post?

We try to post all submissions that are not spam, trolling, or obviously false and we sometimes group related submissions together. We aim to focus on posts that demonstrate the institutional failures of the UO, rather than posts that shame individual people, to counteract their narrative that spiking COVID-19 cases are due to the individual irresponsibility of off-campus students. We firmly believe in consequences for careless and reckless behavior that increases the spread of the coronavirus (for the love of god stop having huge parties), but the severity of those consequences should reflect the power the individual or institution holds – and UO holds considerably more power than individuals attending parties. To be clear, we do think documenting and calling out patterns of individual reckless behavior is useful, but in most cases want to remind our readers to direct criticism at the institutional failures that in the aggregate facilitate the wide spread of the virus.

So while we try to post all submissions and want to minimize the effect of our gatekeeping what stories are told, we do reserve the ability to use our discretion in what we post. In particular, we may use discretion with posts that pit students against workers, students against students, or otherwise focus more on individual behaviors of students and workers, because we want to highlight the decisions made by those in power at this institution.

Do you edit the posts?

We try to post all submissions as faithfully to their original content as possible, and get permission to make edits for grammar and to preserve the anonymity of both the person making the submission and any people described in the story. When we make substantial edits to a post (eg. adding the full name of an organization give as an acronym in the submission) we will mark them with [brackets].

Do you delete comments?

We will only delete comments if they have personally identifying information, contain slurs or derogatory language to a marginalized community, and we reserve discretion in removing comments that are overly-aggressive to the person who made the submission or other commenters. We don’t have the resources to actively moderate our comments, but usually the people who follow our page do a good job of community moderation. We will never delete a comment just because it disagrees with someting in one of our posts.

Will you ever tell anyone who submitted a story?

NO. We provide a form that allows people to submit their stories in a way that keeps them anonymous, even from us, so it’s impossible tell anyone who you are. In the case that we receive submissions from our DMs or other identifiable means, we will never tell anyone outside of the moderation team who those messages are from without their explicit consent. The very last thing we want is for someone to be doubly victimized for speaking up.

The only exception is messages from people who can reasonably be inferred to be speaking in an official capacity for some public-facing institution, which we treat as public comment.

Do you fact check posts?

Because of the volume of submissions we recieve and most of them being anonymous, we cannot fact check all of our posts. We aren’t journalists and don’t pretend that our posts meet journalistic standards. We don’t have access to all of the knowledge and experience of the folks who choose to share their stories with us. We believe our role is to amplify the voices of people who are feeling unsafe and isolated due to decisions made by upper admin at UO. If someone is feeling unsafe and wants to communicate how they feel they have been failed by the institution, we share that information. For certain significant and impactful claims about covid and UO, we may do some digging and fact-checking and will share that information as we find it (e.g. Schill’s statements about his lack of influence over student decisions, and claims that greek life is or is not responsible for recent outbreaks). We also rely on corroboration from multiple submissions, so in many cases when we post something that makes a specific but not publicly-verifiable claim we either have already received or are posting with the intention to solicit additional reinforcing stories (so if you have experienced something similar to one of the stories we post, it is useful for you to send in your story as well!). If you believe something we post is false, you are welcome to say so in the comments or in your own submission.

Are you planning to send these to UO? What about official reporting channels?

First, nothing is stopping UO admin from reading these stories and responding accordingly with appropriate investigations and action – we see many UO social media accounts in our story views so we know they know about us. While we support those who want to bring up issues through more formal channels, we have found through personal and professional experience that reporting to UO is largely ineffective. Many of the stories submitted have also highlighted how reporting, whether anonymously or directly to supervisors, has been ineffective or insufficient. When reporting takes place behind closed doors there is not space for us to collectively hold admin accountable for their inaction; because we don’t even know they haven’t acted! And even an effective reporting system would not be sufficient to counteract other institutional decisions that made UO and the surrounding area susceptible to outbreaks (e.g. the very late announcement that classes would be held remotely, after most off-campus students had to sign leases).

What do you want from the university?

We are not in a position to make asks that pertain to the unique circumstances of the many different students and workers who have submitted stories to us. We see this page as a tool and resource for people who might be organizing for better conditions anywhere at UO or looking for validation and acknowledgement that they are not alone. That said, we support any actions that truly empower students and workers to have more influence in university governance, such as the democratization of the board of trustees.

I disagree with a statement in one of your submissions.

Okay, this one isn’t a question but we have been recieving many DMs like this. We are not going to issue subtle modifications to our posts, but you can comment on them if you would like to provide clarification. We cannot fact-check most of the “retorts” to our stories any more than we can fact check the stories themselves because they are based on the unique experiences of individuals. Again, we aim to amplify the voices of those who do not feel UO is successfully dealing with covid. Since UO has an entire PR apparatus working for them to claim the opposite, we do not feel compelled to do that work on their behalf.

Aren’t you stigmatizing being sick with the coronavirus?

NO lol. We are criticizing the institutions that put people at risk of contracting covid, not the people that contract it (unless they willfully and negligently spread it to others). There is nothing wrong or shameful about having a disease.

Why haven’t you responded to my DM?

We get a lot! Sorry!!!


The UO is doing the best they can

No they’re not.

Why do you care so much about covid? Are you going to make a page like this for the flu?

This question typically isn’t asked in good faith, but the flu is in fact a serious illness that can lead to long-term health complications and death. First, the mortality rate for covid is about 30 times higher than the seasonal flu and covid has unique long-term effects still not understood by the medical and research community. Of course, there is an influenza vaccination available (which we encourage everyone to get) that drastically reduces its spread, reducing the need for extra precautions required to prevent the spread of covid. Of course we also support UO having policies such as generous sick leave to reduce the spread and burden of all communicable diseases.

The case fatality rate for people in x age range is low, so why should they have to suffer?

While the mortality rate is lower in certain age groups, this does not mean young people are exempt from the consequences of covid or the responsibility to prevent its spread. First, there are many long-term health complications from covid such as lung and cardiac damage, which we still don’t fully understand. Second, many young people are immunocomprimised or otherwise in at-risk groups. Lastly, spreading covid among younger people means spreading it throughout their entire community - at-risk family members, coworkers, and other community members - who are not in a lower-risk demographic.

The mental health impacts of covid isolation outweigh the health risks of covid

We will not diminish the very real effects of social isolation on mental health, and believe it is a serious topic worth of discussion. However, we do not believe that reducing covid precautions and thereby increasing case numbers and deaths is an appropriate or acceptable solution to this issue. Further, a quick browse through the stories on our page shows that a lack of precautions and protocols also has a significant impact on mental health. Many people are experiencing anxiety and depression because they do not feel empowered to protect themselves and their community from this disease.

Also, nobody is expecting people to live in solitary confinement in response to this pandemic. The expectation is not to completely isolate, but to reduce or eliminate as chains of transmission as much as possible. This means, among other things, keeping your in-person social groups small, avoiding large parties, priotitizing outside socializing over indoors, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and obviously avoiding new contacts if you are sick or have been in recent contact with someone who is sick. Having social support is very important, of course!