As most of us know, recent headlines have flooded our timelines, home pages, and broadcasts: Michigan State University has officially encouraged all incoming and returning students to stay home as the 2020 Fall Semester rolls underway.
This is a fall unlike any other, and we can all empathize with the students and faculty alike. It’s hard to imagine exactly what these students and professors must be feeling, because most of us can only picture all of the memories we had made at their age being suddenly ripped out from under their feet. Of course, the safety of our friends and family takes precedence, but it’s hard to read the news and dismiss any emotional ties to the matter.
Yet, it brings us all a sense of comfort and peace knowing that the faculty understands this more than anyone. They have been hard at work over the course of the past 6 months with quick adaptations, action plans, and carefully thought-out procedures that will make the beginning of this year as inclusive, organized, and beneficial as possible. Many instructors have been dedicating their own time and energy to learning as much as they can, especially in terms of technology-based teaching.
Even if individuals choose to stay within the confounds of MSU’s campus, there will still be many available resources for said students: the dining halls have been working on an official procedure that will allow their services to be open for limited hours, some hybrid classes are still available, and for the specific programs and departments within the school that have to maintain in-person classes will still offer safe learning environments with proper social distancing measures in place.
Overall, campus won’t be as busy as it usually is. It’s a hard thing to witness, but the perseverance and strength of MSU’s community helps to shed a bright light on these dark times.