EDITORIAL: Be flexible and understanding during this time in uncharted territory
We are in uncharted territory, Chippewas.
Central Michigan University first switched to one week’s worth of online classes on Wednesday, March 11, the day after most of the sports world had already come to a halt. Later that week, CMU extended online classes until April 6. On March 15, the university reopened residence halls for those who need a place to stay, but continued to urge students to stay home after spring break.
The decision to switch classes to online-only is an unprecedented move for Michigan's public universities. Faculty members are working tirelessly to ensure this semester isn’t a total loss for everyone involved, including the students expecting to graduate in the spring. Imagine having just a few days to figure out how to transition a class syllabus and prepared lectures from in-person instruction to online in just a few days.
Faculty, we appreciate you.
We think it is important to proceed, as a community, with understanding, empathy, flexibility and caution. Coronavirus has caused an unexpected disruption. Universities are tackling a crisis that many administrators probably thought they would never experience – a pandemic. Our administrators are making decisions to protect the health of its students and maintain what is left of this semester academically, which is the right thing to do.
Administrators, we appreciate you.
We at Central Michigan Life are also here for the community to provide news and information during this time of uncertainty. Coronavirus concerns have already drastically changed our day-to-day routines and threaten to cancel important Spring Semester events such as commencement. Over the past seven days, Central Michigan Life has provided coverage that this campus needs and deserves. From telling the perspective of international students to breaking news about cancellations, this editorial team is promising readers thorough, continued coverage of THE story of our lives — COVID-19 — and its effects on the Mount Pleasant community.
This is a time when journalism could not be more important. We are seeing this every day with new stories and breaking news from professional news outlets in the state of Michigan. Despite no confirmed cases in Isabella County, the rapid spread of the virus suggests that it is only a matter of time.
We can all do our part to prevent the spread of this virus if we work together, Chippewas.
Stay at home if you can. If you can't stay home, stay safe. We want to urge students to take seriously the health and safety recommendations we are getting from the Center For Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health.
Wash your hands. Limit your time in crowds and practice social distancing.
Filling bars and hosting parties on St. Patrick’s Day is a bad idea this year. It's no excuse to potentially spread a virus of this severity. If we can help get coronavirus under control in the next few weeks and be able to hold commencement, that will truly be a reason to celebrate.