Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Sick Rams deserve better alternatives

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Now that winter is arriving, college students have begun to catch the seasonal flu. Without the support and accommodation from their university, class absences are unavoidable. Therefore, colleges should do more to support students’ well-being.

The seasonal flu is a respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that are a year-round burden. According to NPR, every year, one out of four college students get sick from the flu.

In the old days, when people got sick they either tried their best to live their lives or rest up until they became healthy again. However, it is different now. There are more consequences to getting sick, such as loss of money, loss of opportunities and loss of time. For college students, keeping up with all their classwork during their sickness or after their healing up is not so easy anymore.

 Universities should accommodate these students and provide alternatives to classes and assignments, such as attendance via virtual meetings, take-home tests and loosened deadlines. These options can help students focus on success during their college careers while taking care of themselves. 

While the flu is a recurring disease each year, some side effects from the pandemic remain. 

Speaking from my own experiences, in some classes, students can join class via Zoom when they are sick or contract COVID-19. This rule should be an option for every single class on the campus. Although, from the instructor’s perspective, I understand students pay better attention in person than they do virtually.

 “Every professor should offer those accommodations if students ask. I know when I was out for COVID and couldn’t attend class, only one of my classes gave me the accommodation of attending class virtually,” said Anna Plumb, a sophomore at Suffolk University.

Ask yourself, “What is the point of strict deadlines if students are unprepared and perform poorly due to their circumstances?” You will most likely find that your answer aligns with mine: there is none. Suffolk and other universities should value students’ attention, presence and dedication rather than their performance results.

If the options above are too extreme, I think it is our right to at least ask for extra credit, particularly until the pandemic is officially over in the U.S. Extra credit goes a long way for many students. 

“I like extra credits when I’m struggling but I’m sort of indifferent when I’m doing well,” said sophomore Connor Mudge. 

 According to the Department of Health, “The percent of influenza-like illness (ILI) visits in Massachusetts is 1.13%, which is higher than the 2020-2021 season and comparable to the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons in the same week.”

While the university should assist, students are essentially responsible for their own health. Suffolk students should get seasonal flu shots as soon as possible by contacting the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center.

Avoid close contact with those who are sick, stay home for 24 hours if you are sick, cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands often with soap and water. Stay safe this flu season.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Pholnikorn, Staff Writer | he/him
Thomas is currently a junior from Thailand. In his free time, he ventures into the realm of endless possibilities and imagination. Ultimately, there are three things he is searching for: shapeless love, certain kindness, and never fading hope.

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OPINION: Sick Rams deserve better alternatives