Cleveland State’s response to COVID-19

By Jamison Schroeder

Opinion Editor

Unless you were a fortune teller or had some sort of inside information, no one knew that when we left for spring break that final Friday or Saturday, it would be the last time we stepped foot on campus for quite some time. As children, getting out of school three months early would have been a dream come true, but now? It has been an extremely difficult adjustment for many, especially students coming from far away states or overseas. Cleveland State University has done its best to remain open with students, communicating with daily emails concerning the COVID-19 situation and its effects on classes and school life. 

However, it took them far too long to do this. In fact, Cleveland State had been behind many other schools in deciding what to do concerning the virus. When cases had first come to Ohio, three patients had been put into care within the main Cleveland Clinic campus, which is roughly 10 minutes from Cleveland State. So why was Cleveland State the last public university in the entire state to shut their campuses down? 

I just feel that a university that prides itself on keeping students engaged would have kept students a little better in the loop about what was happening. Of course, now the daily emails are helpful, but it all seems off.

Where was this in the beginning? It seems like it took someone on campus to get the virus for the university to finally be more open. Then, the students who lived on campus had to deal with the process of moving out. Near the end of our original spring break, we were told in an email that we would be given 30 minutes to grab anything we needed. Less than a week later, we were told we had two hours to completely move out. 

Now, I live fairly close to Cleveland State; the round trip takes less than an hour and a half. For people who live states away, that becomes expensive. The university could have handled the virus with a little bit more care for the well-being of the students.

Rather than being leaders, setting examples for others, the university is stuck behind, following the footsteps of the other schools. It feels as if they are playing catch-up. First, it was closing down the campus, then it was switching to online classes the rest of the year, now they have made an optional pass/fail grade for classes of the student’s choosing. The university didn’t set these precedents though, they simply followed along the coattails of other universities. 

Of course, now they are at least trying to improve upon their communication skills, and I hope to see more effort from the university in the coming weeks. It is a scary time for people around the world, and it’s even scarier for those who rely on the school to bring them a sort of escape. 

The last thing all these students need is a lack of communication from the university that they look to for so much. The daily emails help, but more guidance should be offered to the students who aren’t sure what could be done next to better prepare them for when this whole situation is through. Refunds also should have been one of the first things discussed in a meeting about closing down the university. 

No one likes to play the waiting game. Life-changing things have happened in the last two weeks and more effort could be put in to provide students with answers on some very important changes.