On-campus students share concerns after shift to online classes

Students pack up their cars and leave the dorm to go home because of the cancellation of face-to-face classes at Kent State. Classes will be held online until April 13. 

Zaria Johnson Assigning editor

President Todd Diacon announced in-person classes would be canceled and shifted online until April 13, 2020, and encouraged students to return home if possible, due to concerns regarding the coronavirus Tuesday.

Freshman fashion merchandising major Anna Snyder, who lives in Allyn Hall, said she is disappointed she cannot have the opportunity to get the full on-campus experience.

“It sucks because I’m paying for a meal plan and I’m paying to live here, so I feel like I should be living here,” Snyder said.   

Parked cars lined the esplanade and other residential roads as students seemed to load as much as they could into their vehicles, junior digital media production major Khalil Thompson said.

“If you look outside Johnson Hall … near the parking lot it, was just full of cars,” he said.

Daniel Resnick, a sophomore digital media production major and resident of Olson Hall, echoed this statement.

“It’s been a steady flow of people,” he said. “They’re taking everything, like TV, clothes, all of it.”

While most took the opportunity to head home right away, some students decided it would be in their best interest to stay on campus.

“My parents are over 50, and I’ve heard rumors that the coronavirus is killing people of that age if they catch it,” psychology major Timothy Siembor said. 

Although he has not shown any symptoms for the illness, Siembor said he still worries about his parents falling ill. 

“A part of me worries that I might have it,” he said. “If I bring it back home, I’ll never be able to live with myself knowing that I contributed to them getting sick.”

For other students, such as junior digital sciences major Jo Wilson, going home may not be an option. 

“My parents moved to Arkansas two weeks after I came to Kent,” Wilson said. “There are no major airports there, so flights are slightly more expensive, so it would be more expensive to fly home than to stay here.”

Students who choose to stay in the dorms may face some challenges in the coming weeks, especially when it comes to food. Many dining options, including the HUB and the on-campus Starbucks, have closed, leaving Eastway and Rosie’s Diner as the only on-campus options.

Denice Meany, sophomore applied communications major, said although she plans to stay in Olson Hall until the first week of spring break, she is concerned about where she will eat.

“I do not really have a lot of money, so I can’t really go out and get groceries,” she said. 

However, food and groceries were not the only concerns students had. Several students voiced concerns regarding their online coursework which is set to begin March 16, 2020. 

“[Some classes] should be pretty easy to do online,” Snyder said, “but drawing … and anyone who is in a sewing class, I don’t know how you’re going to do that online.”

Natalie Beres, who is also a freshman fashion design major added to this statement, “Our drawing class is two and a half hours, and I have no idea how we’re going to do that.”

Not only were students concerned about how classes would function online, but several were worried they wouldn’t be able to retain the information without being face-to-face, which might reflect poorly on their final grades.

“I’m stressed to come back, because I’ve never been someone who could work well online,” Snyder said. “I paid for this experience. I want to be with an instructor. It’s easier for me to learn.”

Contact Zaria Johnson at [email protected]