The phone buzzed in most students’ pockets at exactly 10:23 a.m. Tuesday. For some, the message brought stress with the new wave of changes announced. While others were grateful the right decisions were made.
This email changed the course of the 2020 college school year. With an extended spring break due to COVID-19, Ken Trzaska, president of Seward County Community College, announced that classes were switching to an online format so students could self-isolate at home. Students were advised to move out of the dorms. The spring sports seasons and other events on campus were canceled. The May commencement ceremony was canceled.
Students reacted in a variety of ways to the news but the most common thought was about their future and how this affected it. Crusader News spoke with different students to see how they were coping with the news.
A student close to home:
Cyara Heredia, sophomore from Liberal pre-law major, had her own thoughts on the online format Seward has decided to undergo and how it has affected her.
SCCC student Sierra Washmon packs up her car to move out of the dorms. Multiple students are leaving campus due to the COVID-19 panic and the choice given to move out.
“I definitely would say this is a semester that no one would ever forget. The drastic changes that are occuring due to this COVID-19 crisis are truly affecting everyone on a global level. I believe that going online is the safest and most reliable decision that SCCC could have taken,” Heredia said.
Not only was school affected by the virus but also Heredia’s events and future competitions as Miss Kansas Teen USA.
Since COVID-19 is affecting almost every state, she cannot travel to her priorities or even host her planned events like the positive mental health day for SCCC students that was unfortunately canceled.
Heredia, being from Liberal, has the option to be with her family during this time of crisis and uncertainty.
An International student:
The future is indeed unclear for many students since cancellations are the new norm. Sports events, work study positions, flights home and the most recent, cancellation, K-12 in every Kansas school implemented by Gov. Laura Kelly has been top news this past week.
Students scrub the walls at the dorms with mops to sanitize as much as possible while the students who live there are out of the way.
Many international students do not have the option to return home since President Trump has implemented a travel ban in the countries of Europe, Iran and China.
Karl Wurth, tennis player and business major, expressed his view on the pandemic affecting his college life.
“For me this is the correct decision. There is no point of going to class in the middle of a pandemic,” Wurth said.
Many students will lose their work study positions due to leaving the Student Living Center or just for the reason of no more social gatherings allowed. However, Wurth believed that lost activities are not a hardship when he is not the only student being taken into account and it is compared to everything happening now in the news.
Luckily, Wurth has the option to make his way home since he resides in Punta Arenas, a town in Chile. Still, stress and worry has not completely faded for the SCCC tennis player.
“…there is still what happens day to day,” Wurth voiced for not only himself but what seemed as SCCC and the country as a whole.
A student whose education is left unknown:
One of the many questions that arose amid the news is what exactly will happen to programs like cosmetology, tech school, and lab classes.
Alejandra Trevizo, cosmetology major, has come to understand that the choice to go online is the only safe route.
SCCC is still unsure on how these classes that involve hands-on activities could happen over a computer, but Trevizo is sure that the situation will turn out fine with her faith in her instructors that have been in communication with the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.
It is better for us to do all we can rather than not enough”
— Alejandra Trevizo
“A lot of people don’t know what all goes into cosmetology. It’s not all hands on… it’s a lot of science, rules, regulations, and sanitation which is what we are going to be doing…”
Trevizo is not only a full-time student, but also a mother of an elementary school student. She recognized she will not only have to take on the role of a student at SCCC, but also the role of a teacher for her child until the end of the semester.
“At first, I honestly thought it was an overreaction but I heard a local school superintendent mention we will never know if we did overreact but it will be quite apparent if we did too little. I now understand that it is better for us to do all we can rather than not enough,” Trevizo said.
She also works at Buckle Inc., who as a corporation decided to close yesterday for two paid weeks in hopes to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The hallways of the dorms at SCCC are mostly empty due to students going back home. Seward County will resume classes but online only starting Monday.
Trevizo, a local from Liberal, is hopeful to end the semester off right.
“I think everything is for the best and I’m glad SCCC was quick to decide,” Trevizo stated, to show her understanding to put the safety of students and staff first.
Although some changes can bring stress and worry, students need to make the steps to be prepared for online classes by contacting their instructors and make a plan to be successful during the rest of the semester.
SCCC students and anyone following Crusader News are encouraged to stay safe and follow precautions to help flatten the curve of Coronavirus.
– Stay up to date with Crusader News as the staff will have more stories to come covering COVID-19 –
EMPTY CAMPUS: In front of the library is always the busiest spot on campus. Compare how this hallway was earlier in the semester to what it looks like today by sliding the line from one side to another. (Interactive Graphic by Annette Meza)