Students Oppose to The Bilkent University’s Face-to-face Exam Obligation

At the Bilkent University, the 2020-2021 fall midterms were held face-to-face (unlike many universities) between November 7th -15th.

Bilkent University students shared their accounts of the process they went through after the exams by tweeting. The students shared that the university administration did not fulfill the precautions for the exams they promised. Students will continue to make their voices heard under the hashtag #BilkentCoronaYayiyor (Bilkent University administration serves the spread of the virus- by not taking the necessary precautions ).

We interviewed a student who had taken the exams at Bilkent University and talked about their experiences during the exams and the face-to-face exams planned for December. We have changed the student’s name to Deniz for safety concerns. 

We first asked Deniz about the measures taken by the university in the exams held last week. Saying that the windows and doors were kept open during the exam to ensure air flow, Deniz stated that they were cold and then got sick.  Stating that they had a Covid-19 test to be sure of their health, Deniz added that some students took the exams in classes with no windows.

Stating that their temperature was not taken before entering the class, Deniz says that it was later understood that there were positive cases in the classes: “ For example, I was coughing because I have a cold. A few friends went to the infirmary, suspecting that they might be sick; but they were told to take exams the next day.

Deniz adds that most of the cafes on the campus are closed and it is not possible to sit in a cafeteria that offers takeaway. For this reason, Deniz states that students go to places outside of Bilkent University to eat and that the students face the risk of getting sick in these crowded places. 

When we  asked about the special permission required for the university’s final exams due to the curfew to be applied to citizens under the age of 20 as of November 18th, Deniz said : “Despite the curfew for the persons under the age of 20, we do not approve that the university forces thousands of students to be on campus, use public transportation and travel for hours. This also affects our psychological state. The pandemic itself is a cause for concern and being in a crowded environment during this period is already risky. The government is taking stricter measures, but the university administration ignores this and endangers thousands of people and their families. None of us, especially our friends who come from other cities, are happy about taking the exams face-to-face. “

With the increasing number of cases and patients, Deniz conveys the anxiety experienced in students as follows: “As the number of trips we have to take for exams increases, the virus spreads and we are really scared. We are afraid of making our family sick, of getting sick, of transmitting the virus to someone in any way. When our fears are combined with exam stress, we cannot be productive, our motivation and success are affected by this. ”

Students continue to make their voices heard on social media.