The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Mesa County Public Health Department appear to be shielding Colorado Mesa University from public criticism over its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by minimizing and obscuring information about Covid outbreaks and how the school is handling cases.
New CMU President John Marshall (Photo: Twitter, @MesaVeep)
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) students currently being quarantined in Piñon Hall after being exposed to Covid-19, or who are currently sick with Covid, are telling their parents there is no one stationed in the dorm to help them, and that the school is not providing them with medical attention or even food.
The following commentary on how Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is handling the coronavirus pandemic was written by CMU History Professor Sarah Swedberg, who is now experiencing CMU’s policies in person. This article was originally published on Nursing Clio, an open-access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine. The article is reprinted here with full permission from Dr. Swedberg.
Like many faculty at state universities, the beginning of this school year brings me more terror than excitement. Colorado Mesa University (CMU), the institution at which I have taught since 1999, will require neither masks nor vaccines for students, and faculty cannot enforce mask mandates in the classrooms. This flies in the face of best practices for public health. When I asked the reason for this policy, I was told that there were strong feelings on both sides.
“Strong feelings” is clearly code for the fact that CMU is in a politically conservative region where there is strong resistance to both vaccination and masks. These words remind us that public health measures have always been politicized. Because I teach about HIV and AIDS and because I was a young adult in the 1980s, it is that pandemic that is foremost in my mind as I try to negotiate my own and my students’ safety.
As if holding one massive superspreader event to kick off Colorado Mesa University’s fall ’21 semester wasn’t enough of a public health threat to students and the community, in today’s Daily Sentinel, CMU is advertising another big event on August 27th to be held inside the Meyer Ballroom in the University Center that involves eating, dancing and drinking alcohol.
The ad does not mention any coronavirus precautions being used at the event, like proof of a negative Covid-19 test, proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or masks or physical distancing.
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.
Some faculty members at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) are raising red flags about CMU presidential candidate Dr. Mirta Martin.
The concerns stem in part from controversies arising during Dr. Martin’s tenure as President of Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Kansas.
The Kansas Board of Regents hired Dr. Martin as FHSU University President on May 2, 2014. She resigned abruptly on November, 23, 2016.
Concerns about Dr. Martin’s management of the University were described in a November 11, 2016 article posted by Tiger Media Network (TMN), Fort Hays University’s “convergent media hub.” The article, “Tempers Flare at Faculty Senate Meeting,” gives a detailed account of a contentious FHSU Faculty Senate meeting held on November 1, 2016 about then-FHSU President Martin, who is now one of three finalists being considered by the CMU Board of Trustees for president of CMU.
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster has long used CMU to create high-paying jobs for Republican friends who either lost elections, were term-limited out of office or simply had no other place to go. His use of CMU for patronage appointments for exclusively Republican pals is so notorious that in 2007 Leslie Robinson, a writer for the Colorado Independent, dubbed the school “Mesa Republican College.”
The financial misuse of a taxpayer-funded institution by a person in position of power to benefit friends and acquaintances is called “cronyism” Its formal definition is “the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.” People often confuse cronyism with nepotism, which is when a powerful person appoints family members to positions of authority without regard to their qualifications.
Republican Mesa County Commissioner candidate is shown trespassing on the Grand Valley Canal banks in his latest ad.
Republican Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis shows himself walking on the banks of the Grand Valley Canal in his latest TV ad. The Grand Valley Canal is also known as the Government Highline Canal, and technically, public use of the Grand Valley Canal maintenance roads is trespassing. Signs are posted all along the canal banks with the warning “NO trespassing. Violators will be PROSECUTED.” No one has ever been arrested or charged with trespassing for walking, biking, jogging or skiing on the canal banks, though, according to former three-term Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, who said that trespassing on the canal banks is “basically the lowest priority misdemeanor there is” for the Sheriff’s Department. Trespassing on the canal banks is akin to a time-honored pastime, which is probably what led Cody Davis to trespass on the canal banks — obviously without even thinking about it — in his latest ad.
The only thing that would make it legal would be if he or his family owns the land on which he is seen walking and has given the Bureau of Reclamation or Grand Valley Water Users an easement.
Results of a news quiz printed in today’s Daily Sentinel demonstrates the backwards thinking that is the hallmark of conservative, right-wing Republicans.
A short blurb in the Sunday, Feb. 8, 2020 Daily Sentinel offers a lesson on why Republicans are such harmful elected officials.
The Sentinel has a regular weekly news quiz on Fridays, and gives the results in the following Sunday paper. An item today stood out for what it demonstrates about the ramifications of conservative Republican views not just for the western slope, but for society.
History shows that if Republicans had their way in the last century, most of America wouldn’t have electricity.