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A Worldwide Pandemic: How the Coronavirus is Impacting Howard University

By Airielle Lowe, Staff Reporter

In an official statement released by the Howard University Student Association, it was announced that the university will transition to online instruction from March 23 until April 6 —making Howard just one of the many other schools to follow suit in the switch with several other DMV colleges. However, as excited as many students are for a three week “break,” what does a transition to online instruction mean for a majority of the Howard community?

For some faculty members, moving to online instruction can be a hassle, especially if the class requires more hands-on direction. Though Howard University Professor Yanick Lamb stated that she wasn’t concerned about the switch because she was so accustomed to being on Blackboard, she’d expressed that her primary concern was “the different learning styles,” noting that “some people learn better face to face than they do online.”

Professor Lamb is also an advisor for the New York Media Trip that occurs for School of Communications students annually in the Spring, remarking that their anticipated trip was canceled as a result of the virus as well. Open to all students in SOC, the trip is generally an excellent way for students to establish contacts and network with established media professionals. 

“We started having cancellations last week, where companies were notifying us that we wouldn’t be able to come to visit,” said Professor Lamb. 

And for students, though the thought of online classes can be exciting, some find themselves worried about their professor’s ability to transition their teachings.  This was the case with sophomore journalism major Adrianna Camiolo, who stated that she had a few professors who weren’t on Blackboard. 

 “[Some professors are] a little bit older and don’t necessarily know how to work Blackboard. I’m nervous that we won’t be able to continue learning for the rest of the semester,” expressed Camiolo.

Some of the nation’s leading concerns in keeping control over the outbreak, which was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, have been remaining hygienic, preventing mass gatherings and limiting travel. Following this, alongside implementing “deep cleanings” of common areas and major university facilities with heavy foot traffic, the university has canceled all international travel for students including those participating in Alternative Spring Break, some of which will participate at domestic sites.

Senior Journalism major Hadiya Presswood spoke about her study abroad trip planned in partnership with Howard from May to June in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her biggest worry has been the possibility of Howard canceling the trip, and though they still have the “green light” to go, the decision still lies with the administration. 

The incoming class that has yet to even set foot on campus is also being affected by the outbreak. In an official release given by Howard Admissions Twitter page, Howard’s accepted class of 2024 found out that the highly anticipated Accepted Students Day would only be held online this year, in an attempt to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

Some students have also raised concerns about upcoming events such as the highly anticipated week-long Springfest, and whether the event has been canceled altogether, or if the administration has any plans to move the event back.

It has been advised that students remain prepared for any further changes to come and keep a lookout for any emails and updates the university may provide moving forward.