Dealing with COVID-19 on campus can have adverse effects on students. On the flip side, remote learning and online learning can have different, but still adverse, effects on students’, from their education to their learning and understanding, to their overall performance. As students weigh the pros and cons of being on campus, they contemplate whether they would like to stay on campus next semester, or if it would be better to just go home.
Kym Strozier, a sophomore from Troy, is an active student on Albion College’s campus. Strozier participates in a variety of things on campus, such as being in the sorority Alpha Xi Delta, playing lacrosse and participates in Student Senate. Some of these things she has to be on campus for, and they benefit her on-campus experience, even during the pandemic.
“The format for the events has changed, but the essence of the events are still there in all the clubs that I am involved in,” said Strozier. “Everything that I am in would continue whether we were here or not, but I would feel like I’m missing out.”
There have been many changes in how to live safely and properly while being on campus. The changes aren’t only limited to events and clubs. They impact life on campus.
“I would like to see less student restrictions, like to be able to eat in Baldwin and to be able to have those public spaces open, like the library and the KC, and enter residence halls freely and responsibly. “I don’t want to get sent home. I just ask all my peers to follow the rules and then there will be less rules to follow,” said Strozier. “We will just Learn from module A and transfer that knowledge to module B.”
Despite some of the inconveniences presented by following public safety protocols, some students, like Strozier, are happier being on campus than they would be at home. Joseph Cardenas-Lizardi, a senior from Chicago, said he wouldn’t go home for the second half of the semester if he had a choice. Cardenas-Lizardi’s reasoning, however, differs from Strozier’s. While some students are happier being on campus overall, Cardenas-Lizardi wants to stay on campus purely for academic reasons.
“I wouldn’t go home,” said Cardenas-Lizardi. “Not saying I don’t want to, but because I have a half credit thing that I have here. But, if that wasn’t the point, I would have chosen to go home. The reason why is because recently during the summer, we have been renovating the home, and here I have a place to study.”
Meanwhile, other students have made the choice to stay home due to the fears of COVID-19.
“Some people in my poetry class have gone online and stayed online,” said, Cardenas-Lizardi. “To be honest, they seemed more at ease, I’m guessing because they are at home.”
Caroline Melcher, a junior from Canton, has labs and other things that require her to be physically present on campus, so she said that she would prefer to stay on campus. Melcher also said that she enjoys the Albion college environment and the college environment in general. However, her viewpoint on the protocols, one of the reasons that some choose to leave, differs from some of her peers, like Strozier.
“There are some things to be said [about staying on campus], like not getting that great of an education online, but there are some things that you can’t do anything about,” said Melcher. “It sucks to not be able to go out with friends and not be able to visit people’s rooms, even if it’s just one person.”
The main two topics that on-campus and remote learning boil down to in the student population when it comes to the conversation of whether to stay on campus or move home are the conversations of on-campus protocols and online learning.
“Online classes aren’t great,” said Melcher. “I did an online class earlier, and sometimes the audio doesn’t get through. But I understand the reasons for it, so I never brought it up to anyone, because I don’t want to complain about it. I prefer what we have than it all being online.”
Remote learning has both positive and negative effects, as does in-person learning. Students all have had their own personal wants and needs when it comes to learning.
“In some classes, some subjects aren’t designed for remote learning. Some classes are more physical learning,” Said Strozier. “You can make as many connections as you could in person. I also think it is important for people to get out of their rooms, especially being on a small campus. Remote learning was definitely different and definitely a task and challenge that we all had to overcome.”