Over 1,200 students and local residents have signed a petition that calls on Harvard University to turn its empty residential halls into homeless shelters during the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by Campus Reform, students at Harvard University are demanding that university officials convert the campus’ empty residential halls into homeless shelters for locals that have been impacted by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
The petition, which was recently posted to change.org, calls on Harvard’s leaders to convert the university’s dormitory space into a homeless shelter. The petition has received over 1,200 signatures since it was created last week.
“We have the facilities, the resources, and the organizational wherewithal to implement an emergency shelter on campus,” the petition reads. “Whether that would be a distributed system using the Harvard Houses or a centralized shelter using the dorms in Harvard Yard, it is simply unthinkable not to do this and let our most vulnerable community members suffer and die on the doorsteps of the richest university in the world.”
The petition’s author, Christopher Diak, acknowledged that converting Harvard’s residential spaces to a homeless shelter would pose logistical challenges. However, Diak argues that Harvard has a “spiritual imperative” to use their vast resources to help those in need during the pandemic.
“There are many logistical and legal challenges that Harvard will have to overcome to implement this emergency response, but, it is our moral and spiritual imperative to do so. And it is not without precedent in this crisis: in New York, there are plans underway to convert college dormitories into medical clinics and homeless shelters to meet the growing demand for hospital beds.”
Breitbart News reported this week that Harvard University has canceled its on-campus commencement events that were originally scheduled for May. Instead, Harvard will stream several virtual commencement events for graduating students on May 28.