SUU Students Express Frustration about Online Classes and Canceled Events

After Thanksgiving Break, Southern Utah University moved classes from in person to completely online and students expressed frustration about that change along with other adaptations to the semester.

“Honestly I don’t want SUU to be online. I am a freshman and I want to experience real college life and meet people, rather than staying in my room and doing online,” explained freshman Ally Wright.

Student events such as the Homecoming Parade, Casino Night, Mr. and Mrs. SUU and The Scream were either canceled, held virtually or adapted to meet social distancing guidelines. 

Before the semester officially ends, students have one more week of classes, and then final tests will be held online during Finals Week.

“Getting good grades is easier when you’re actually with the professor in a classroom setting and can ask them questions in person,” Wright said.

Nate Winters, another freshman at SUU, decided to stay in Cedar City for the remainder of the semester instead of returning home like many students because he thinks it is easier to focus on schoolwork.

“Being in Cedar, as opposed to being home, blocks out a lot of distractions that stems from being with my family and friends at home. Here in Cedar, I will be able to focus better without many distractions,” Winters shared.

Unlike when the Spring 2020 Semester moved online, students knew this change was going to happen before the semester had even begun. 

The decision to move online after Thanksgiving Break came from universities throughout the state. With the exception of Dixie State University, all of the Utah colleges and universities have moved to remote teaching and informed the students that this would happen before the semester started in September.

SUU made this decision in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season, according to the school’s coronavirus FAQ page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have predicted spikes in cases over the next month. Because of this, Wright and Winters are skeptical about whether SUU will actually return to in-person learning this coming semester.

Neither Winters nor Wright has ruled out the option of taking a break from school until it is completely in person again.

“I would probably take a break, make some money and just hope that it goes back to face to face,” Wright said.

Winters expressed a similar sentiment, saying, “After next semester, if the fall semester was all online, I would most likely take a break from school and find a job, and wait for things to get back to normal. Online is just not ideal.”

SUU plans to return to in-person teaching on Jan. 11 for the spring semester.

Story by: Lexi Hamel
lexihamel2@gmail.com
Photo by: Chris Montgomery on Unsplash.com 

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