Mesa County residents freaked out by CMU’s semester-kickoff superspreader event

CMU’s held its freshman orientation semester kickoff event in an indoor gym without taking any coronavirus precautions, like masking or physical distancing.


No masks, no physical distancing, lots of open-mouths and yelling among the younger crowd, the age range currently being most infected with the more dangerous delta variant of Covid-19

Mesa County residents are horrified by photos Colorado Mesa University (CMU) gleefully posted on it’s Facebook page yesterday showing the school held a jam-packed, high-energy indoor semester-kickoff event without taking any coronavirus precautions.

The school’s note on Facebook about the event said:

“It feels good to be back 🤘
We kicked off the Fall 2021 semester with 1,500 of our newest Mavericks last night. We’re looking forward to the rest of orientation and seeing all of our Mavericks on Monday for the first day of classes.”

The photos show a gym packed with 1,500 screaming, yelling young adults, despite the fact that CMU has no masking or vaccine mandates in place.

This is the first year new CMU President John Marshall is heading up the school.

Delta variant epicenter

Mesa County is the epicenter of the more transmissible and deadly Delta variant of the Coronavirus that is currently sweeping the country and packing hospitals across the nation with younger and younger patients. Mesa County is the first place in the U.S. where the Delta variant emerged.

Occupancy of regular floor and staffed ICU beds in Mesa County hospitals right now is almost at 100 percent, according to the Mesa County Health Department’s Coronavirus information dashboard, which just shows meter-like graphs for this statistics, but gives no numerical percentages.

The Mesa County Public Health Covid-19 Dashboard shows local hospitals are frighteningly close to being at 100% capacity, including staffed ICU beds.

Upon seeing CMU’s photos, the spouse of a local physician who sees County residents killed by Covid said,

“If they [the students in the photos] are our future, I’m glad to be old. These students can’t think for themselves [or] … follow a healthy protocol for self-care. CMU is a pariah to our community. Disgusting and ignorant, but in keeping with our health department and County Commissioners…” 

A commenter on CMU’s Facebook page wrote:

“No masks. No vaccine mandate. Large, indoor crowd. The administration should be held criminally liable for the inevitable deaths.”

Another commenter wrote:

“[CMU President] John Marshall’s ‘we teach our students to think for themselves’ Covid pandemic plan is a Grand Junction community danger and in defiance of rational medical precautions. These pictures are sickening in many ways.”

Mesa County Public Health Coronavirus Dashboard graph showing the age distribution of Covid-19 cases reported in the past 2 weeks. The two-week new case count in Mesa County is 432, of which 209, or 48 percent are in people 0-29 years of age — the age range that also has among the lowest vaccination rates.

Someone else wrote:

“Vaccination optional as are masks. Looks like a super spreader event to me.”

…to which another commenter responded:

You hit the nail on the head. It is indeed a “super spreader” event. CMU offers very limited online classes and, because of this, as there are barely any alternatives to crowded in-person classes, they ensure the spread of COVID in students, staff, and the greater community. Through their inaction and lamentable decisions, they are risking the well-being students, staff, and anyone with whom they come into contact .

CMU’s semester-kickoff superspreader event, one of the first events approved by new CMU President John Marshall

Also problematic was CMU’s mandatory instructor and staff welcome meeting, as seen below, which was another event that was packed shoulder to shoulder and without any evident Covid-19 precautions:

CMU’s mandatory instructor staff welcome meeting


  10 comments for “Mesa County residents freaked out by CMU’s semester-kickoff superspreader event

  1. The only Mesa county residents that are appalled are the dozen or so with you Ann leading the charge that are so terrified of dying of a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate because they have been brainwashed by the media and government! Check the facts the rate of cases in Mesa county has been steadily going down. Just like the prediction that cases were going to surge after Country Fest, then after opening markets and outdoor concerts, I supposed the excuse now is OH NO they are inside? Stop with the fear mongering and stupid propaganda!
    Even if there is a surge of cases in these young people a percentage that I am sure are vaccinated then they will increase there personal protection with natural immunity which improves herd immunity.
    Follow the science Ann not the hysteria

    • Unthanks, Kiah B., for your polemic (look it up). Over 620,000 Americans are dead from this harmless flu, COVID-45. If I were tasked with caring for unvaccinated, intubated COVID-45 patients I would be tempted to exercise my deeply held spiritual beliefs and say “I quit!”

    • Where do you people get your statistics? COVID-19 does not have a 99.8% survival rate. You can easily do the math to figure that out.

      Also COVID-19 is putting a strain on our healthcare system. Look at the statistics of available ICU beds across the country, particularly in vaccine resistant areas.

      But that’s all Faux News to people like you.

    • 99.8% survival? Remind me to not ask you to be my accountant, or my 911 operator. Or my air traffic controller. Or my surgeon. Or anything that requires, accuracy, attention, thought, or a pulse.

    • Just take one look at the School District 51 COVID data dashboard and see what happened after the second week back in school without masks or precautions. The exact same thing will happen at CMU, and those of us in healthcare who believe vaccines save lives, will be trying to keep the vulnerable people in Mesa County safe from you covidiots!! Suck it up and do the right thing. Please get vaccinated, and if you cannot for personal reasons, mask up to be part of the solution.

  2. I left CMU in December 2020, in part because I did not want to return to in-person teaching, which we were being forced to do. Back in May 2020 when we were finishing that first semester in the pandemic, Tim Foster sent an email to faculty and staff outlining how much money the university would lose if it kept classes online. Five days later “Safer Together Stronger Together” was announced. It has never been about the science, but always about keeping the marketing machine going to admit more students.

    A reminder that Dr. Bronson, the head of their Covid task force, is not an MD. She’s a physician’s assistant with an EdD and has no training in epidemiology. I will give them some credit for their efforts last year, but their approach to Covid this year is a complete joke and is going to overrun our county’s health care system.

  3. Re: the first picture….
    The blonde in the front row on the left with her mouth wide open speaks volumes.

    Does she even bother to check to see if the carcass is still alive before she inhales it?

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