Photo by Stephanie Swart
By Kaleigh Cortez, News Editor-
A UTC alum criticized the campus-wide routine testing program in the online news site, The Chattanoogan.
UTC implemented a routine testing program on Feb. 8. Around 1,000 students and faculty are randomly selected each week to participate in the rapid test, which is provided to the school by the state.
In his opinion piece, writer Jeff Irvin Jr. said the new policy is a “degradation of our constitutional rights” and that “your First Amendment is valued more than your Fourth Amendment” at UTC.
The article included a statement from an unnamed alum who compared the testing requirement to a date rape scenario.
“Just because I have drinks with a man doesn’t mean I give him consent to rape me,” the unknown source said. “Just because I give the university my health records doesn’t mean you get bodily fluids whenever you want them.”
The comment was supposedly in response to local attorney Terry Olsen who defended the University’s policy in an interview with News 12 Now.
“If you’re an individual at UTC as a student or as a faculty you already have given your medical records over to the UTC health center,” Olsen said. “Nothing, I think, is being accessed more than you’ve consented to.”
Students may request an exemption if they are selected for testing and fit into one of four exceptions. Students who do not come to campus for any reason, have contracted the virus in the past 90 days, have symptoms and are in isolation, or have been exposed are in quarantine are exempt.
“Any individual who does not participate may face disciplinary action,” according to the Routine Testing FAQ.
A parent of a UTC alum, Darlene Kilgore commented on Irvin’s article and called students to refuse participation or “spend your money elsewhere.”
Irvin did not respond to any request for comment.