International students face uncertainty amid university closing


Jacob WaringNews Editor  

Abby EpsteinNews Writer

With less than 24 hours to pack and seemingly nowhere to go, international students were concerned they would not have a place to stay with dorms being evacuated.

“It felt surreal,” said athletic training major, Paula Tattari, a junior from Finland. “Just like, this isn’t happening. I felt I couldn’t gather my thoughts enough to process since [internal students] weren’t really mentioned in the email, I just kept wondering what am I supposed to do.”

At 8:57 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 a campus-wide email statement was sent out to the university informing faculty, staff and students that classes scheduled for the remainder of the week were canceled and following spring break the university would facilitate classroom instruction online.

North Campus Residence Complex Graduate Intern, Jayla Manning sent out an Emergency Evacuation email to North Campus residences stating that students who are not able to leave by noon on March 11 need to go to the Office of Residence Life in Schwartz Hall between 9 a.m. and noon to discuss their circumstances.

According to the Southern website, North Campus is home to the Global Living Themed Community. This themed community “is designed for junior and senior residents who wish to explore cultures of the world and global citizenship,” the website states. The community is designed for international students to develop relationships with domestic students.

“We have 41 students who will remain on campus, through this period for the next three and a half weeks,” said Vice President for Student Affairs, Tracy Tyree.

Of those 41 students, Tyree said a majority of those students are international students.

Forensic science major, Harriet Frost, a junior from England said the students remaining on campus were going to be moved into Wilkinson or Farnham Hall but eventually told to remain in North Campus.

“Roughly around 30 of the 40 students remaining on campus live in North,” said Frost, “in both the townhouses and midrise so the remaining students were moved here.”

Tyree said the university is providing international students with housing. She also said the university is making arrangements for food and access to technology.

“I’ll give the university credit with regards to food,” said Frost. “Dinner is being provided for all the residents, as well as planned snacks. They have also discussed the possibility of employing the shuttle service to take us to buy food.”

Tyree said accommodations are being made for international students due to logistical problems associated with traveling to and from countries abroad.

“It’s a small number, given our whole population. That’s a pretty small percentage of the whole,” said Tyree, “but these are students that we absolutely need to do accommodate because they had no other options for remaining kind of local but not living on campus.”

Many students were planning on going to other states or countries for spring break.

“My plans for spring break changed completely after we all received a travel ban with no reimbursement for prior plans,” said film major, Siobhan Mooney, a sophomore from Scotland.

President Donald Trump announced during a March 11 Oval Office address that the travel of foreign visitors from Europe would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump said during his address. “The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.”

In a previous campus-wide email statement, students were advised not to leave the state and if they did do so they were told if they have to self-quarantined off-campus for 14 days once they return.

Frost said she and other international students “simply have no place to go” in the state, outside of it or anywhere really in the U.S. And paying for a hotel in downtown New haven, she said is not an option.

“It is gutting to think about not only the money we have potentially lost,” said Frost, “but the fact that we can now no longer experience spring break how we imagined too.”

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