BLOOMSBURG – Current and prospective BU students are considering a gap semester if fall classes are exclusively online. BU currently plans to return to campus for the fall semester, and the provost is looking at many possible scenarios according to BU media relations.
Peter Kelly, BU’s Chief of Staff, said in a press conference that BU can’t force students to not evaluate all their options for the fall.
“For those students who may be considering taking a semester off, I would recommend just bearing with us, because we are considering a number of different options and we will be in communication with all of you to let you know the plans,” said Kelly.
BU student Brooke Ritter said she is not going to take a gap semester in the fall if classes are online. However, she may consider taking fewer classes.
“I do not want to get behind because I already changed my major twice and I would rather not spend more time than I need,” said Ritter via text.
Isabel Casey said she is considering taking a semester off because online learning is different than face-to-face.
“I’m just going through the motions to pass and I’m not really learning,” said Casey via text.
“I didn’t sign up to be taught online, I’m not paying for online classes, and although it isn’t the university’s fault, they are doing the best they can, I just feel it’s a waste of time and money if I’m not really grasping my class content online.”
Makenna Whitesell said she does not want to take online classes again.
“If we do not go back in the fall, I believe every professor should be on Zoom during regular class hours,” said Whitesell via text. “I refuse to pay the same money in tuition for professors to upload papers on BOLT and teach myself!”
Jill Dillinger said she will not return to school if BU is online in the fall.
“I have the attention span of a goldfish with amnesia and cannot focus or do well in online classes,” said Dillinger via text.
Public colleges and universities have pressure to reopen in the fall even with the risk of coronavirus cases returning, according to an article by Politico.
“College presidents and their boards have a seemingly impossible task: Protect school finances without putting student and faculty lives in danger,” according to Politico.
Prospective BU student Steven Haschak, a senior at Norristown Area High School, said he is considering his options for the fall.
“I would not want to do my first semester online and I wouldn’t benefit from an online classroom,” said Haschak via text. “If the fall semester is online, I will not go even if I already made a deposit.”
Prospective BU students’ deposit deadline is extended to June 1 and BU hopes to decide if fall classes will be online by July 1 said Tom McGuire, BU director of media relations.
“We assume students who commit to BU by June 1 will remain committed to BU, along with all our current students, including accepting the eventual recommendations of the fall schedule and calendar, according to their best interests, with their safety being our top priority,” said McGuire.