COVID-19 Safety Pledges Common at Ohio Universities, But Not All Are the Same

Some call it a pledge. For others, it’s a “compact” or a “commitment.”

No matter the name, colleges and universities across Ohio are asking students, faculty and staff to agree to follow certain guidelines and health precautions as they return to campus in the age of COVID-19. Some have been criticized as a possible way to shield schools from liability, but experts say suing a university for coronavirus exposure would be difficult, no matter the paperwork.

The purpose, intention and reaction to such documents vary, but they are widespread. At least 10 of Ohio’s 14 public universities have some sort of pledge or agreement for which they are asking students and/or university community members to adhere. A number of private Ohio colleges also are implementing such agreements, including Ohio Wesleyan University, Denison University and the College of Wooster.

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