Q&A: IOWA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS REACT TO CORONAVIRUS

SILVIA OAKLAND, TRUMPET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY – Georgia Ackley, third-year student

Q: What information have you been given as a student? Do you feel you’ve been well informed by the college? 

A: We have been given several updates from the president the past few weeks about how there weren’t any cases in Iowa and international news. They also put a travel ban on the level 3 countries and this week they officially canceled all university-sponsored international travel over spring break.

They also let us know if we needed to stay in our campus housing we have to register beforehand. I feel like I have been well informed by the college because I know they only update us with confirmed cases and it’s reliable.

Q: What are your biggest concerns moving forward with the decision to go online only? 

A: My big concerns are how some of my classes are going to transition to online classes. I have a few labs and in my microbiology lab, we were supposed to start our experiments for our main research project over several weeks right after spring break which is the majority of our grade.

We have to do our research in the lab so I’m not sure what we will do for two weeks, and I’m worried it will end up being a lot more work when we return.

Q: What are your plans if you have to leave campus quickly?

A: If I have to leave campus quickly I’ll probably just pack a bunch of stuff and leave. I’m lucky to be close to home so it wouldn’t be too hard.

Q: Are you feeling worried?

A: I think it says a lot that it’s been labeled a pandemic, and it’s unfortunate that so many people don’t have a good understanding of general science so they get all their information from social media instead of reliable sources.

I’m also not sure if this change will even help prevent [the] coronavirus from spreading because I know students will still be interacting with tons of people every day even if they don’t go to class.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA – Caitlyn Martin, third-year student

Q: What information have you been given as a student? Do you feel you’ve been well informed by the college? 

A: Luckily the University informed us that during the online period, residence halls, dining halls, the recreation center and the library (among other facilities) would be staying open as regularly scheduled for students who rely on the University’s resources.

I feel like UIowa has done a decent job keeping students up to date and informed without fear-mongering, though as a public health major my perception may be skewed. They’ve provided us with health and safety tips specific to reducing the spread of coronavirus and for many students, simply knowing that we have the university hospital if they do fall ill is a comfort.

Q: What are your plans if you have to leave campus quickly?

A: I’d need to stay in Iowa City to keep up my jobs and pay rent. As a working student in two customer service roles, I don’t doubt that I will be exposed to coronavirus and while it’s an uncomfortable prospect, I can’t afford the time off work.

UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA – Madison Luebbers, third-year student

Q: What information have you been given as a student? Do you feel you’ve been well informed by the college? 

A: We were told our classes would most likely be switching to online for a few weeks. The communication was not very good. Around 2 p.m. an email was sent out stating that classes would be online for two weeks after spring break and possibly longer.

Q: What are your plans if you have to leave campus quickly?

A: I live and work off-campus, so the issue of having to leave would not affect me the way it would many of my peers. I do not know what many of my friends are concerned with the idea of having to go back home. Many of them don’t have a source of income in their hometown. They may not have much of a home to go to.

Some might not have wifi in their houses so online classes would be virtually impossible. … [The University of Northern Iowa] They are continuing to keep the dining centers open and work-study will go on as usual, but if the decision to close for the semester would be made, I’m not sure what would happen. I think the worst part of the situation is not knowing what would happen and not being about to do anything about it.

Q: What are your biggest concerns moving forward with the decision to go online only? 

A: Along with the shows being affected, classes are being impacted as well. It may seem like a viable option for business, history or math classes to continue online, but the performance and art-based classes are facing a very difficult path. How are we supposed to do voice and bodywork without being present? Our professors are working very hard to come up with some kind of solution, but it feels kind of helpless at the moment.

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