Here's the Problem if Hofstra Classes are Online for Fall 2020

No one knows the direction in which COVID-19 is going, therefore not even the smartest person alive could tell whether classes in the Fall will take place virtually or in person. Although I am a strong supporter of Hofstra to host all classes on campus next semester, I am also well aware that our health will come first. If it is unsafe for us to return, then I will completely understand their decision to remain online. But, if there’s a way for us to stay safe and attend class in person, then that would be a dream come true. After talking to students from different years and majors, I have realized there are so many more problems than even those I was dealing with.


Every single reaction I received towards online classes was negative, except the fact of wanting to stay safe. Many addressed the want to see their friends and have a normal campus experience. Yes, education is the reason we are all here, but the social life on campus is such a huge part of that. I am sure many of you are still staying in touch with your friends, but it’s not nearly as much as you would while in Hempstead. Although there are still clubs operating under these circumstances, many had to be put on hold or adjusted.


Education is still the number one reason students want to return to in-person classes this fall. They feel as if they aren’t receiving the same education, the education they paid $60k for. One big problem expressed to me was about their lack of motivation and attentiveness. This is also one of my biggest struggles with trying to take my college courses at home. I have no willpower to do anything because I am not in that productive mindset I was at school and I am getting extremely distracted with my family constantly around.


If we had to remain online in the fall, many students believe their GPA would greatly decrease, while others just feel as if they wouldn’t be getting the same level of education we do in person. For a good amount of majors, a majority of their classes involve hands-on activities. Although, being a journalism major this wouldn’t affect me too much, there are many people with classes that would not translate well online. These include drama, art, science, music lessons, and so forth. 


Online classes would affect each and every student, no matter what year they are, but it would definitely be more of an adjustment for first-year students and seniors. For incoming freshmen, making the transition from high school to college is difficult enough, nevermind trying to adjust without other students around you. Seniors, on the other hand, might need to obtain certain requirements, such as an internship, to graduate. If Hofstra decided to continue conducting classes online, this could severely impact whether or not they would be able to complete their education.


Students believe it would not be fair of them to pay full tuition when they are only receiving half the education. They now lack resources in which they assumed they would have access to all semester. For communications students, they were used to using high tech filming equipment and the editing suites in order to create projects. Now they are left with whatever resources they can find within their house. Hofstra is trying their best in order to make this transition to online classes as smooth as possible, but there is still so much we are missing out on. There is just nothing anyone can do to make up for some of these losses.  

When asked whether they would take the semester off of classes in the event we had to remain online, about half of those asked gave a firm yes, while a quarter of them were not so sure. They do not want to pay all this money for a subpar education online. By taking the semester off, it would push off their graduation date, but the students would be able to receive the top-notch education they signed up for. Hofstra could see a decline in enrollment granted classes are online, which is not something many schools can afford. 


Although our health will always come first, many problems do arise with the thought of classes remaining online in the fall. It is extremely difficult for students to stay focused and motivated while stuck watching zoom lectures all day. Many are afraid their grades would drop immensely if classes were required to be conducted online all semester. These were just the top issues that students brought up to me, but there are so many more such as lab fees, on-campus resources, library access, time zones, and technical issues. It is way too soon for schools to start making calls on the upcoming semester, but even though there are so many problems with online classes, our wellbeing will still be their top priority in making this decision.