Opinion: Suffolk needs to lock it down in wake of COVID-19

Last spring, Suffolk University shut down its campus and sent the majority of resident students home when COVID-19 overtook the state. Classes transitioned online to many students’ dismay. 

With COVID-19 numbers rising drastically throughout Massachusetts, the possibility of a second lockdown looms over Suffolk students and all of its residents. If this occurs, Suffolk should close its doors and remain online, with students out of dorm rooms. 

The preventative measures that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put into place speak on the difficulty of living in shared spaces. With thousands of students pouring in from around the country, the risk of infecting others is a real possibility. According to Boston.com, cases have been increased after students returned from Thanksgiving break. Coming back to campus during a second lockdown should not be an option.

Though some students feel that remote learning is not worth the price of tuition, Suffolk should consider moving all classes to an online platform for the foreseeable future. It is understood the initial transition last spring was difficult when kinks were still being worked out. But at this point, the faculty has adapted well to the need for online classes. 

In fact, it’s difficult to believe that Suffolk hasn’t come up with more scheduling options in terms of online classes as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. Though it’s understandable that students may have a difficult time keeping up with the self paced workload of a fully asynchronous schedule, it should absolutely be offered. At this rate, we are paying full tuition to be online. Why not give us the choice for how we prefer to do it?

The pandemic that has been with us for over nine months is surging to a point where everyone is in danger. It’s almost 2021–  it’s not like there aren’t technological options, such as Zoom classes and remote options to ensure that students are still getting the education they paid for, even from a desk at home. 

Suffolk should be thinking long term. Professors are capable of teaching courses online as they’ve shown over the last semester. Students are capable of learning through a computer. It’s a challenge, but isn’t that what college is about? Students should be learning to adapt to new challenges, it will serve them well when they graduate and join the workforce. 

Suffolk will be doing its students a disservice by opening its campus, residence halls and classrooms if the state goes into a lockdown again. It’s time for the school to show the students that they care and for students to take the responsibility of learning in any way they can, even if that means living at home longer than they anticipated. We as a united community should be making the choices that will benefit our state and school in the long term. Stop being so short sighted.

Follow Ashley on Twitter @Ashleyfairchi14.