Although highschool seniors are already experiencing a bad enough ending to the school year, let’s not forget that things may take an even more interesting turn in the very near future.
Colleges around the nation are trying to find methods so their students can still be on-campus for the next academic school year. Indiana University is currently proposing various methods, including a possible “hybrid” start to the year; some online and some live teaching.
A piece of advice from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to keep a six-foot distance away from other people when going out. But how can this happen if students are rooming together in cramped dormitories? What will happen with high housing costs that may never be used for the first semester? Will families be refunded, or will universities put students at risk for the sake of on-campus teaching?
These are the questions many families, including mine, are asking. Many of the answers cannot be determined at this time obviously, but it’s a little stressful when my university is asking me to pay a housing fee before all of this is settled.
Personally, I’d rather my family save the extra couple thousand dollars on a room and meal plan if it won’t even be used.
Granted, universities that were forced to shut down and send students home at the start of all this madness were good about refunds for the most part, so if dormitories are closed for next semester, then refunds will most likely go out.
In my opinion, if a university issues the hybrid teaching method, then having students continue to share dorms should be out of the question. They need to be properly separated, which comes close to impossible if you have two or more students sharing one room.
It’s also a sticky situation for upperclassmen trying to find apartments or houses to live in. If they feel safer not living anywhere else but their own homes for online classes, this leads to the possibility of businesses that oversee such housing options to crash and burn.
Additionally, universities will lose a lot of money if they cannot issue any housing or meal plans, so I understand they are trying to look at this with a financial perspective, too. Regardless, students’ safety should always come first.
This is a hard situation for everyone, and future possibilities for 2020 seem endless at this point. We all need to stay as current as possible with any updates and try to keep a positive attitude.