Campus concerns for online shift after holidays

Normally, Thanksgiving break is a relief to students. This year, however, is different. Students must decide if they’re returning home and how to manage classes that will finish the year through extended classrooms online.

Students will not return to on-campus classes until Jan. 19. 

Kameron Pennington who resides in West Hall had some mixed feelings about it all. 

“I think it would be a good idea to ask students [to] mandatorily quarantine, if you are going to return to campus,” Pennington said.

Chelsea Ratterman, UCO marketing coordinator for Campus Enterprises, which oversees housing and dining, says UCO won’t require students to quarantine, but does encourage them to get tested.

UCO freshman Angel Schmidt, who is a resident in Murdaugh Hall, said: “I’m comfortable with the proces, and I plan to quarantine. My grandmother has a weak immune system and I need to be safe.” 

Schimidt did not say what her plans would be to return for the extended period, but believes that university has prepared students for a smooth transition.

The university has implemented rules and regulations in order to help the students transition. UCO plans to have resources for students who need it, such as tutoring central available online, continuous use of the library and labs on campus and providing Wi-Fi for those students who need to come to campus and use it. 

Students are asked to continue social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands to avoid potentially exposing others to the virus.

“We asked residents to notify us whether they will be staying at any point during the three periods of the break,” Ratterman said. 

She was referring to the Thanksgiving break, the extended virtual period and the winter break period. Ratterman said this information will determine how many staff will need to be present to respond for resident supervision, safety and maintenance. 

Ratterman stated, “This allows for students to qualify for a credit with housing and dining fees, whether they returned for winter break or in the spring.” 

Despite the efforts to prepare, some students may not feel as comfortable with virtual learning. Who

“ I’ve struggled with my virtual calculus class, just from not being in class physically,” Pennington said. 

“But my teacher has been flexible.”

Pennington, who is a freshman, will not be leaving for the break and is staying through the extended period. 

“It’s hard. COVID has ruined the traditional college experience, so it’s been hard to make friends.”

While students will be able to take a break, the COVID-19virus will not. Oklahoma and the country are seeing a daily rise in cases. 

UCO has updated the learners resource page with tips for staying safe over the break and keeping up with classwork..

Students who have trouble or need help can access it here. It includes information on D2L, connecting to extended classrooms, UCO’s coronavirus website and more.

Share This