Students react to MSU canceling in-person classes for fall

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Jay Gooden wants better communication from Michigan State University and its staff when informing students of changes due to COVID-19.

Gooden, 22, Spartan Remix co-director at Michigan State University, said he is worried about his lack of drive, lack of being able to be social and most of all, not receiving the full experience of acting with in-person class.

MSU planned on resuming in-person classes for undergraduates when the semester starts Sept. 2 but reversed their decision Tuesday and moved most classes entirely online.

MSU has also urged undergraduates who planned to live on campus fall 2020 semester to remain at their home communities instead.

In a statement email to students, MSU president Samuel Stanley on Aug 18 said; “effective immediately, we are asking undergraduate students who planned to live in our residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely.”

Allen said; “I’m worried about next semester if classes are online simply because graduation is a big monumental moment for me and a lot of students so losing out on that opportunity is something that saddens me and worries me but I would much rather everyone be safe then us coming together in a big crowd to graduate.”

Michigan State University became the first public university in Michigan to suspend face-to-face classes back in March and held their spring commencement via Zoom for 2020 graduates as well. With MSU canceling classes again for a second semester has some students worried about the upcoming school year.

“I would say as a performing arts student, it’s definitely harder because the performance quality is loss via Zoom” Gooden said. “I’m just worried because for my career, I’m going to need the experience of acting to be successful and I don’t believe I will receive that same quality with online instructions.”

Alexius Burg, 22, a criminal justice and James Madison college double major said, “Being a double major and knowing that my JMC classes are based around in person participation has made me a bit nervous for the upcoming semesters. Being a senior as well has made me feel a bit uneasy about having every class online.”

Anitra Allen, a senior at MSU studying Advertising said, I haven’t been able to close out my senior year as expected, we always get excited about the beginning of classes but I’m not able to get the same in-person experience. Being on campus is a feeling you cannot get while taking online classes and getting an education remotely.”

MSU is offering refunds and credits to undergrads who opt to stay home, although a smaller number of students will be welcomed in on-campus housing including international students and others with specific reasons such as employment.

Almost 10,000 students were expected to return to on-campus residence housing and apartments for the fall semester with most of the move-ins planned for Aug 28, 2020.

MSU’s total undergraduate enrollment is around 40,000 students.

Students are not only upset with how last minute MSU was in postponing in person class but how they were told and most important why in-person classes were an option in the first place.

“I don’t even think it should have been an option for them to ever have classes in person”, said Gooden. Then they took their decision back last minute so now students are out of money that they wasted for being prepared to be on campus.”

“It’s been a difficult time for everybody, and this is something new for all of us. It’s going to take one step at a time, and I think MSU will eventually handle things more carefully in the future,” Burg said. “MSU canceling in person classes has been extremely difficult for me, because being interactive with other human beings is healthy for my mental health. Being isolated causes me to stress out a bit.”

“I was very worried when they said classes were going to be held in person and seeing everyone move back, I just saw the worst happening because were college students, we like to mingle and get in big groups,” Allen said. So, I just felt like that wasn’t the right decision or the right time for us to be meeting back face to face.”

Gooden also feared for local restaurants and business around campus with their main consumers not returning to the university.

He said, “Students are the primary customers of businesses around here so without us, those business are going to lose a lot of money.”

“Businesses nearby are definitely going to feel the loss of students because grand river to be specific caters to college students stores like (Starbucks, Biggby’s, Target) for example,” Allen said. “Places like those are going to get hit the hardest because there’s no college students going to class nor is there much traffic on campus with college students not returning so these businesses will be depending on locals to come from Lansing to be serviced here on campus.”

Burg said, “MSU will affect many student’s employment, considering that many students work on campus. Students will be forced to work off campus, and off campus jobs tend to not work with a many student’s school schedule.”

Burg is employed on campus by the university and said she haven’t received an update about returning back to work amid the cancelation of in-person classes email. For a second semester she is just as unsure this semester as she was last semester as far as on-campus employment.

Students are still expected to participate in classes via Zoom if the instructor requires it MSU administration stated in their email and classes are set to begin Sept 2.

Anitria Allen, an MSU senior responds to MSU canceling in-person classes.

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