Many schools ultimately decided to welcome students back, informing their communities that new safety precautions are in place, and Covid tests remain at the ready.

But the safety measures weren’t enough — there are now more than 40,000 cases of Covid-19 among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities nationwide, according to a CNN tally from earlier this month.

On some campuses, students that tested positive were relegated to undesirable quarantine housing and told to self-quarantine. Others who were caught partying were sent home.

At every step of the way, colleges have turned what should be an exciting time for students into a nightmare for everyone with no end in sight.