Last March when classes first got moved online, many students held out hope for the future, expecting that COVID would no longer be an issue by graduation in May, let alone fall. Graduation would happen as planned, underclassmen would return to the classroom by the end of the year, life normal as could be.
Now, as students have returned to campus, cases are on the rise, countless students are in quarantine, some classes have gone fully remote, fall sports are canceled indefinitely, and students are beginning to wonder whether it will soon be time to repack their belongings and return home.
Chancellor Karlsson says that as of right now, “[The school has] no plans to move all classes online” unless the “local government asked us to move to online-only.” Considering the size of the Embry-Riddle Prescott campus compared to our much larger Arizona University counterparts that remain open, Karlsson advises that students should remain hopeful and keep doing their duty to protect themselves and their classmates as best they can. “We all should have a goal to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing a face cover that covers your mouth and nose, and staying at least six feet away from anyone. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Stay home if you are sick,” says Chancellor Karlsson.
Besides the big question of whether or not the school is close to being shut down, students also have questions surrounding tuition cuts, flight hours, housing reimbursements, and class schedules, all of which the Chancellor currently does not have answers to. She stated that, if the school is to be shut down, “We would need to access the situation and make decisions based on what caused this request, so it is impossible to speculate on details around this.”
Though students have mounting concerns over whether COVID might be quietly circulating around campus and whether circumstances could cause a repeat of the Spring semester, university messaging maintains that campuses do not intend to close, adopting a “cross that bridge if we come to it” mindset. In the meantime, all students can do is their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to avoid a campus closure.