UO students missing 'togetherness' in return to school

Ahead of undergrad classes beginning tomorrow, students at the University of Oregon are reflecting on their experience with coronavirus and remote learning.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 7:47 PM
Updated: Sep 29, 2020 4:42 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Ahead of undergrad classes beginning tomorrow, students at the University of Oregon are reflecting on their experience with coronavirus and remote learning.

The UO has reported 123 total cases -- 64 the last week alone. Out of the total cases, only four have been on-campus students. 

The university has put certain precautions in place, such as limiting the Knight library hours and only allowing faculty, staff, and students. 

The EMU on campus has also placed restrictions on their services.

One of the main complaints students have is they don't feel it's fair they are paying full tuition for a modified college experience, not just academically but socially.

Undergrads have a taste of what this will look like because of the late switch last year.

"Their quality of teaching isn't worse," said junior Abigail McKeag. "They're great. They're trying. But online education is something someone would do to save money."

However, some grad programs like the law school at the university have been at this awhile.

"It's different. It's not what anyone is used to," said Alex Fletcher, a second year law student. "The distractions are incredible. You have roommates walking in and out during every single Zoom lecture talking about who knows what so you have to turn the camera off because something's going wrong like traffic is loud."

Both undergrads and grad students alike say they know it's well-intended to have class online but that doesn't mean it's not challenging.

"We're missing sort of social necessity of education which is talking to your peers who are next to you, being able to go to your professor right when you need help rather than a Zoom office hours because there's too many people who are trying to do that but we can't get close to each other," said Fletcher. "We are missing that core aspect of education which is togetherness."

When asked what additional precautions the university is taking to stem the spread, they did not comment at the time. 

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