Jordan D. Brown
Faculty and staff have rescheduled exams and assignments until two weeks after spring break, following a recent statement made by the Office of Academic Affairs Wednesday morning.
The decision to postpone coursework comes after several Maryland schools, including Morgan State University, canceled in-class instruction, due to coronavirus concerns. Faculty members were informed of these directions by email Wednesday morning.
The announcement sent by university administration covered instructions on navigating Canvas, meeting during office hours and class scheduling after spring break.
For senior accounting major Cierra Powell, the extension of midterms is a relief.
“Most of my professors held our exams last week, which relieved a lot of stress for this week,” she said. “I appreciate the university closing and trying to prevent more people from being possibly infected from the [virus].”
However, for students like Tiara Rosilla, a freshman fashion merchandising major, the university’s safety measure inspired a sense of fear.
“Half of the students in the university are thinking, ‘Oh this is an extra break, 3-week vacation,’” she said. “As a cancer survivor, it makes me more scared. What if my doctor says she sees something thinking it’s cancer but really it’s the virus? It’s making me paranoid.”
Rosilla is not looking forward to online learning. She added that in-person interactions improve her education.
“I am the type of person that needs face to face learning, not online classes. I can’t get tutoring online, I need it face to face.”
There are currently 9 confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland and 0 deaths. Those affected are located in either Montgomery County, Harford County or Prince George’s County.
While there have been no reported coronavirus cases on Morgan’s campus, this week’s class cancelation is an extra security measure that university administration has deemed necessary.
Despite class cancelations and midterm rescheduling, several faculty and staff originally planned to continue midterms and scheduled assignments this morning, leaving students like Shalewa Olukotun disappointed.
“I feel the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering rarely considers the health and concerns of their students, and I don’t think it has been considered today as well,” Olukotun said.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with many others, later retracted their statements ensuring that students will not be required to attend class or complete exams for the remainder of the week.
The announcement was met with elation, as students began packing up and heading home. Among those students was Rianna Johnson, a freshman social work major who agreed with the university’s decision and prefers online learning.
“My professors are converting our midterms online as well as our classes. Some are going to do virtual class discussions… I don’t mind it, personally.”
Students and staff seemed matched in their overall approval of class cancellations, and some faculty members took to social media to inform the Morgan population.
Mbare Ngom, dean of The College of Liberal Arts, said he hopes that student engagement will continue as the university transitions to remote learning.
“We are living in very unique and challenging times,” Ngom said in a statement to The Spokesman. “The College of Liberal Arts Management Team has met and continues to meet to discuss the important issues presented by this challenge.”
—Jordan D. Brown contributed to this article.