Frank Bianco, Copy Editor
To say that COVID-19 has caused disruption would be an understatement. From the stock market taking massive hits, international travel completely shutting down, and people being asked to sequester themselves in order to contain the spread of the virus, the world seems to have caught onto a chaotic wave of fear, paranoia and discontent.
These feelings are especially felt at the micro-level. Not only have Utica College students been practically robbed of a relaxing Spring Break but they have also been given no choice in having to adjust to the college’s understandable decision to hold all classes online for the remainder of the semester.
For a brief time, there was an optimistic notion that the college would resume in-person classes by April 13. However, this was not to be and some students are already expressing concerns over the qualities of and potential issues with the online classes.
Physical Therapy Major Isabella Mesturini is a senior in her first year of graduate school and has apprehensions about the online classes as her major normally requires 12 hours of contact lab each week.
“I’m a tactile learner so I learn and digest information best when I can see it in front of me and do it myself,” Mesturini said. “So moving online for labs to learn important concepts is a little daunting to me and I worry that I will not understand as well as I would if I were on campus.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Carmen Genao, a junior majoring in education and Spanish.
“It’s annoying to now have to record myself for every presentation I was supposed to make for these other classes too,” Genao said. “But I understand things can get out of our control. I just hope that professors can understand that not all students are able to feel comfortable with online classes.”
The situation has also affected those students who work on campus as an employee or as an intern. Senior and Communication and Media Major Derek Hamilton has an internship on campus and has had to adjust accordingly.
“I had an internship on campus in the school’s media studio and work for that has become tricky as a large part of the job was working in the studio and with students,” Hamilton said.
Club activities and other events that ordinarily bring the UC community together have also been canceled for the foreseeable future.
“It’s annoying to now have to record myself for every presentation I was supposed to make for these other classes too. But I understand things can get out of our control. I just hope that professors can understand that not all students are able to feel comfortable with online classes.”Carmen Genao, Junior
Junior and Government and Politics Major Peter Gaughan is a member of a number of different organizations on campus and said he was saddened to hear about the cancelation of campus events.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to cancel events,” Gaughan said. “Especially events that have such long, meaningful histories on this campus.”
As he had been one of the “few student government representatives left on-ground prior to everyone being sent home,” Gaughan also said he has been put through a “whirlwind” in making sure that “administrators still had student input and that student life could still run business as usual in the virtual environment.”
“That means reimbursing organizations for canceled events, helping pay for students to ship things home or get tickets home and cataloging information to expedite the transition,” he said.
Perhaps one of the sadder consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic is that most students will not be able to wrap up another year of hard work in a traditional or satisfactory manner. This is especially true for the senior class, as they will not be having a graduation ceremony in May, and thus not be able to celebrate and commemorate their long road to graduation upon reaching the very end of their college tenure.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to cancel events. Especially events that have such long, meaningful histories on this campus.”Peter Gaughan, Junior
A bittersweet feeling permeates among the UC community.
“Utica College had become my home over the years,” Hamilton said. “[But] as a senior, I likely won’t ever be returning as a student to the campus again and I won’t be able to see the friends I have made over the years before we all go out into a very difficult world.”