This Monday marked the beginning of online classes at Ursinus, as the school made a transition from regular, in-person meetings to a work-from-home-online model. While the switch is necessary for the safety of the greater community, it also meant the sudden and abrupt end of the senior class’ final semester of college.
The class of 2020 did not expect the week before spring break to be the last time they’d see many of their friends and peers in an academic setting, and many of those contacted by the Grizzly said they were disappointed.
“I’m really sad about it and miss the classroom atmosphere. Online classes are not the same as being on campus. Also it’s not the way I wanted senior year to end and I was really looking forward to all of the fun traditions that seniors do in the Spring,” said Kayla Hoffman.
“I’m mostly sad that I won’t be able to see anyone and say goodbye before the official end of the semester. Especially since I was abroad last semester, it sucks that I wasn’t able to spend as much time with everyone before the end of our college career. At the same time, I understand the situation,” echoed Wendy Lasser.
In addition to the loss of valuable time and annual traditions, all across campus, promising projects that people poured time and passion into were cut short or cut off. The Bear2Bear benefit had to go virtual. The Student Employment Fair was canceled. The lacrosse team was in the middle of an undefeated season that ended early. The “Calendar” page on Ursinus.edu is a cornucopia of canceled, postponed, and now-virtual events.
Each Spring, the Art department holds its annual student exhibition in the Berman Museum. Art students have the opportunity to display their artwork in a gallery setting. Now that there’s no one on campus and the Berman is closed through the summer, that opportunity is lost.
“It’s a huge bummer. This was supposed to be our final send off on a liberal art experience which is all about human connection. Not only does it upset the seniors who miss their friends, it defeats the purpose and goal of Ursinus. We understand that this is not something that could have been helped, but it’s upsetting to have a fraction of what Ursinus is really about,” laments art major Joe Simon.
Miriam Thomas said that ending college a different way than she started it just felt wrong.
“I feel confused as if I didn’t finish something I started with pride,” she said..
Jet Reinhardt noted that some seniors felt left the school could be communicating better with them about what this all means and how the remainder of their careers will work.
“I’m thankful for the relationships I have from it and the priceless education I’ve received. I’m really sad to see how the admin has been handling this situation and treating my fellow peers who may be in need of resources …. I definitely feel as though the senior class has been left in the dark with lack of communication. I understand the circumstances, but I’m big sad. Lots of love to my fellow seniors. Stay safe and healthy. And also, online learning is complicated and completely overwhelming,” said Reinhardt.
Finally, some said they hoped this wouldn’t really be the end.
“I think they’re right in cancelling the original date of graduation, but … it’s upsetting that we couldn’t say goodbye to any professors or classmates and the school should be working on how to complete our experience. They should make a date in the Fall for us because that’s what’s fair to us as a graduating class,” said Megan Heichel.
In spite of all this disappointment, the Grizzly would like to cover interesting and innovative things Ursinus students are doing with online learning. If you know about a good story, please let us know! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.