Change seems to have been the only constant throughout these last few weeks. Social distancing guidelines have become the new normal. Louisiana and the rest of the world are in the midst of a fight against a deadly virus where the best prevention is isolation. The most serious and pressing impact of the virus will always be the loss of human life, and all measures to prevent loss of life should remain in place as long as necessary.
The abrupt halting of all sports has been an unfortunate consequence of the new social distancing measures, and the issue has become all the more bitter as University seniors are now likely to miss their final football season, right after the best college football season of all time. The University should take action and give graduating seniors access to student tickets if the 2020 football season is canceled. I know how important this is personally; a large part of my LSU experience has been football games and tailgates. I decided to return to school for my senior fall primarily as a chance to see one more football season as a student. I feel most connected to my school and fellow students on Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium.
However, experts from the Center for Disease Control have predicted that large group settings may not return until 2021. Athletic directors around the country have said they do not expect a normal college football season in the fall, considering alternative options like playing the games without fans or potentially postponing the season. The cancellation of the season as a whole is not off the table by any means. If infection rates continue to rise into the fall, there is a very real possibility that football will be postponed indefinitely.
Seniors who miss their final football season due to uncontrollable circumstances should have access to student tickets for an additional year following their graduation. The University has already set a precedent of allocating special access to former students when campus resources were unavailable during their school years. In 2013, the UREC underwent an expansive renovation that took multiple years to complete. University students enrolled during the construction were given the opportunity to redeem the years they missed after they graduated.
The University should follow this precedent and give next year’s seniors the same opportunity to recoup what has been lost. No one knows what the future may hold; large gatherings and sporting events are nothing more than pleasant memories for the foreseeable future.
The circumstances are outside of the University’s control, but the right thing to do is ensure that "Forever LSU" is more than just a catchy saying. This is a legitimate chance for the University to show they have their students' backs even after they walk across the graduation stage. I know I would want to return the favor for years to come, and I am sure my classmates feel the same.
Cory Koch is a 21-year-old political science senior from Alexandria, Louisiana.