Members of ASU community criticizing university over handling of COVID-19 cases

A coalition of students and faculty at Arizona State University is criticizing how the university is handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the data released by the university.

They say ASU isn't being transparent.

The university's Tempe campus no longer swarming with activity at lunchtime as COVID-19 has forced many of the 75,000 students to online classes.

So far, the university has reached about 1,000 COVID-19 cases, among its entire community and campuses. However, the number has gone down to just over 800 cases as of Sept. 7.

"Actually, I think they've been very helpful. We get updates all the time, emails based on the numbers if any changes have to be made because of it," says one student of the university's handling of COVID-19.

Another student says, "Our updates on the virus are very vague. It's like, they'll send updates but nothing will really be updated so it's very confusing."

A newly formed Twitter account is publicly taking the university to task for how it’s handling COVID-19 information.

"That's the biggest issue, that the administration is treating this as a public relations issue -- not a public health issue," said David Boyles, ASU English Department Professor.

He's also a member of ASU Community of Care Coalition which launched the Twitter account critical of ASU on Twitter.

The coalition is made up of more than a thousand graduate students, faculty and staff, many concerned about in-person classes during the pandemic, Boyles says.

They say the university is not giving them a voice in decisions and is not transparent with COVID-19 data.

"Even the numbers they're giving us, they're not providing any information to make sense of them, to interpret them and to understand what is the real spread on campus right now," Boyles said.

The university's president, Michael Crow, is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 9.