From what had originally seemed a standard (and enjoyable) semester, Stockton University had to take decisive actions in the face of the spreading COVID-19 virus. As news of the virus increased with cases, it began to become clear that the virus was not going to simply go away and that containment efforts were not as successful as hoped. In the face of this reality, Stockton originally intended to have its spring break along with a two-week timespan of online classes until things got under control. Though as we know, with the news getting more dire, drastic actions had to be taken and the university decided to move the campus to an online format for the remainder of the semester.
That definitely threw a wrench into things. On top of learning to navigate Zoom, all classes and labs had to be restructured. Student workers were idled, student organization activities had to be suspended, and having a lab-intensive spring semester this year did not aid in this debacle.
As the weeks carried on, a most peculiar new "normal" began to emerge. Online classes persisted, the positive energy and enthusiasm for class once held by myself and many of my peers began to dwindle. The end of the semester felt as if it carried on longer than it had.
While all summer classes were listed as online as well, it certainly did not stop students from still paying visits to campus: On June 19, in the wake of the protests occurring across the nation and world, a Black Lives Matter march was organized at Stockton University. Hundreds would take part in this significant movement (including myself) as speeches were given by Stockton faculty, staff and students, speaking their thoughts on current events and calls to bring positive change to the Stockton community. Even Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman spoke; and although it was held during the heat of the day, the march was highly successful.
As this summer carries on and some businesses, organizations, and other facilities begin the cautious process toward opening their doors, Stockton held a town hall to discuss plans for the upcoming semester. At the time of this writing, Stockton University does intend to have campus open to at least some classes come fall semester. While there is still much to consider as well as to observe how things play out, classes are expected to be hybrid, having online and in-person sessions provided for classes. Masks will be mandatory on campus. Student working opportunities and the operations of clubs have not been fully touched upon. Any large congregation of students is discouraged, with housing for on-campus students also being impacted and altered to house fewer students in the provided dormitories.
Stockton, and all places for that matter, have been submerged into exceeding challenging times. Future action plans are being formulated to suit the developing situation.
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