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An email sent from a Dordt student to their parent has a family fuming. The student received an email from Dean of Chapel Aaron Baart letting them know Dordt still has no record of the student completing one of the four options required for the COVID return to campus plan.

“Therefore, your attendance for a meeting at 11 a.m. in SB1606 on Monday, Aug. 30 is now required,” the email states. “Attendance will be taken. At the meeting, we will explain how, when and why additional charges are going to start accumulating on your student account, beginning with $200.”

That’s right, this student and others like them will essentially be fined $200. And none of this has been communicated directly to the parent.

“I am truly surprised and disgusted that my alma mater is stooping to the level of fining students for non-compliance for a requirement that seems to be more about controlling students rather than keeping their campus safe,” the parent told The Iowa Standard. “I was not informed of these requirements personally by Dordt.”

The email sent to the students says the “simplest and fastest path” to completion is to get a 15-minute, self-administered BINAX rapid test for $20 from student services.

“I hope you quickly complete this process for everyone’s sake as I’d LOVE to be standing in an empty meeting room on Monday,” Baart wrote.

“I am disgusted for how Dordt is messaging the students, without any communication to me as a parent. I am also thoroughly annoyed for the political theater that is going on at this supposedly Christian Reformed campus,” the parent said. “I was on campus last weekend moving my student into his dorm room. We attended a packed convocation on Saturday at B.J. Haan Auditorium, where at least 1,500 students, faculty and family members were gathered for an hour in close proximity to one another. I only saw maybe 10 people masked, and most of these were faculty.

“How are they requiring students to be tested for COVID when they welcome 410 freshmen, their parents, some siblings and even some grandparents to campus for a full day of a catered lunch and dinner, an education/faculty fair and a convocation? Should this be labeled as a super spreader event as Dordt did not require masks for the weekend of welcome? These families come from states near and far and even internationally. Where was the mask requirement or the COVID pre-testing for all of these guests? It is beyond blatantly obvious to the casual observer that Aaron Baart and Robert Taylor are looking to flex their muscles over these students, as they were astonishingly hypocritical with not mandating masks for families and guests during the weekend of welcome. There is no logical progression to find here. If they were actually concerned about having a ‘COVID-free’ campus, they would have required families to wear masks during the move-in, and they would have canceled the catered meals and the convocation. It is also preposterous to require students to be tested for COVID after they have been on campus for over a week.

“All I can surmise is that Lord Acton was correct when he summarily stated that, ‘power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'”

Author: Jacob Hall