The project of this start-up is to create an environment “safe, closed and fun” for students. Since courses at many US universities are taught online, their goal is to provide students with the university experience despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
While health measures are still in place across the country, this campus has it all: no need to mask or pay attention to social distancing.
Located in Texas, this campus would be a real “bubble“, isolated from the world. The students will spend a semester there, on one condition: they will not be able to leave it.
In an interview with US media BuzzFeed News, Lane Russell, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said 150 students will soon be selected to join the campus. The experiment is scheduled to begin for the second half of the year, January 28, 2021.
According to him, the project makes it possible to “remove a large number of super-propagators from the population” and of “let them do what they want“.”We give students a chance to rebuild their social relationships“, he explains.”We are giving young people between the ages of 18 and 22 something that they cannot get anywhere else. “
“It’s a social contract with these students. Students who disobey, or who try to sneak off campus, will unfortunately be asked to leave the program “, did he declare. “They are responsible for the entire bubble.”
A strongly criticized project
On social networks, Internet users are very critical.
To participate in this “exclusive” experience, students will have to pay a minimum of $ 9,900 for a package including accommodation and meals. On the start-up’s website, documents specify that no refund will be made once membership has been paid.
Besides the high cost, some fear that the campus will turn into a new hotbed of the epidemic, while others compare this project to the Fyre Festival, a total fiasco that had been the subject of several documentaries.
According to the CEO, the company team worked hard on the project and “spent the last four months perfecting all their logistics and programming“.”The U Experience tries to take what people see as a curse and make it a blessing“he told BuzzFeed News.