Finishing the Semester Online

On Nov. 6, the Coronavirus Planning Team sent out an email to the Sacred Heart community informing them that the campus will be moving their COVID-19 alert status to red due to the recent spike in cases.

According to the email, there are two main implications that will affect all students: the majority of classes will move online, with some exceptions, and the majority of campus events will be suspended or canceled for two weeks or longer.

“I wasn’t too surprised by the decision to move online. Having seen the spike in cases on campus and statewide, I don’t think there could have been a different option,” said sophomore Zack Marsh. “It’s hard, but I think most people understood that this is what needed to be done.”

According to the Coronavirus Planning Team, as of Nov. 11, “Today’s dashboard shows us with 212 active cases up four from yesterday and a seven-day moving average of 25.4 up from 23.9 yesterday. Our alert status remains at red.”

This also corresponds with the fact that the number of cases nationwide are rising.

According to CNN Health, as of Nov. 11, “New coronavirus daily cases in the United States hit another record high Friday, with 140,543 cases reported and more expected before the end of the day.”

Even though the decision to move online may reduce the number of cases, some students have found online learning challenging.

“I do not feel like I am involved at all. I feel like a spectator only writing down what is being told to me,” said senior Chloe Lal. “Virtual classes decrease my motivation because when I’m home, my brain is in the mindset to relax.”

Other students feel that being online takes away from their college experience.

“We are paying a lot of money for the professor to be teaching and interacting with us in person. With us being online, it is much harder to make friends and communicate with other students,” said junior Ilya Boyd.

Although being online may be difficult for some, other students feel more positive due to the fact that during the Spring 2020 semester, classes turned fully virtual beginning on March 11.

“I feel more confident because of what has happened last semester since I now have the necessary tools to get all of my needs taken care of,” said junior Benjamin Bello.

In addition, with the recent introduction of the SHU-Flex model, students feel more ready for the shift to online.

“The majority of my courses were online or hybrid, so I’m prepared for those courses,” said sophomore Katelynn Brown.

Professors also feel prepared to make this change to accommodate their students.

“Students can be confident that course content for the remainder of the semester will be delivered fully and properly,” said Joseph Carter, Director of Academic Music Programs. “If students have any worries about their classes, they should always communicate them with their professors.”

For the upcoming Spring 2021 semester, many students hope to return for in-person classes.

“Speaking for the seniors, we do not want this to be the way we remember our last semester of undergrad,” said Lal. “As a university, people need to be more compliant because any decision that diverges from the rules will lead us back to where we are now.”

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