Mass residential exodus because of university closure over COVID-19
Alexandra Scicchitano – Opinions & Features Editor
Sofia Rositani – Reporter
Abby Epstein – News Writer
In a Tuesday, March 10 evening campus-wide email statement, the university announced it would be closed for the remainder of the week before spring break. For residential students, it stated they were to vacant campus by noon on March 11.
“Some of us don’t drive cars, so we had to frantically call parents, friends, boyfriends, whoever,” said English education major Isabella Corradi, a junior and Schwartz Hall resident. “Somebody to come pick us up to get out of here on time.”
Corradi said going back home is not something she was expecting to happen so soon and some people might have a harder time leaving their residential halls because of transportation issues. Having to pack so quickly, she said was a huge inconvenience.
When first learning about the university shutting down, communication disorders major Gillian Kirlin, a junior and North Campus Residence Complex resident said she felt anxious to be leaving so soon.
“My first thought was, ‘I’m so anxious, I’m going to cry,’” said Kirlin.
Nursing major Irene Laramie, a sophomore and Schwartz hall resident, said that the closing of the university is very stressful for her.
“I thought I had a couple of days [to] I can clean,” said Laramie, “but it’s literally like twelve hours.”
With classes also moving online when the university resumes operation the following Monday after spring break, Laramie said she does not think the university is prepared for online classes, especially in terms of labs.
“This is going to affect my classes because they are lab-based — I need to be in there to be tactical,” said Laramie, “so it’s definitely going to affect everything. They’re not prepared enough to take it on.”
Laramie said she did not believe her labs would be easily replicated or transferable online.
Pre-nursing major Tamara Miller, a sophomore and Schwartz Hall, said she is upset because she was not expecting to move out in less than 24 hours.
“I paid to stay here the whole semester,” Miller said.
Miller said she is taking two lab classes and does not know how the university plans to adjust them to work online.
“Typically,” said Miller, “you don’t find labs online.”
Miller said she does not like the feel of online classes, calling them, “short-handed.”
“I take a piano class. I don’t have a piano at home; I don’t really know how that’s going to go,” Miller said.
The administration of the university, Miller said should have given more notice about their intention to close the campus.
“They could have told us that if campus does close, be expected to leave within a certain amount of time,” said Miller. “I just feel like there could have been a better way of go about this. But at the same time, I understand that this is a pandemic right now.”
Miller said her university-sponsored trip to Puerto Rico had also been canceled just two days prior.
“I hate online classes,” said Psychology major Bruna Silva, a junior. “I don’t like them.”
For computer science major, Jeremy MacMath, a junior, the university closing didn’t really bother him as some of his professors were all ready transferring their material online.
Biotechnology major, Robert Arcoite, a freshman, said he is also neutral about the online courses, and not worried about what may happen at the moment.
“I haven’t tried [online courses] yet, but we’ll see in the next few weeks,” Arcoite said.
He said he is hoping this will blow over quickly and said that the university is being “extra” about the virus.
“I think everything is being blown out of proportion and the virus is not that serious and it’s not really affecting anybody under a certain age, which is including us, college students,” said pre-nursing major Savannah Prince, a freshman. “I feel like it’s not fair considering people have been studying really hard for their midterms.”
Communication major Lucas Shepard, a sophomore said he thinks taking the online classes will be harder and it is going to affect his grades negatively.
“I feel as though the reason why people go away to college is to be in classes,” said Shepard, “and learn easier that way because online you are kind of learning by yourself.”
Photo Credit: Jason Edwards, Abby Epstein