Oakton moves courses online amidst spread of COVID-19

The+Lee+building+as+of+October+2019.+All+lecture+classes%2C+excluding+lab+classes+that+require+face-to-face+learning%2C+will+be+moved+to+online+effective+March+30.+

The Lee building as of October 2019. All lecture classes, excluding lab classes that require face-to-face learning, will be moved to online effective March 30.

Adisa Ozegovic, Media Editor

As a precaution amidst the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Oakton has extended spring break through Monday, March 30 and moved courses online till April 24.

According to an email sent by the President’s Office to students, there have been no confirmed cases within the institution, and the school is primarily taking action to prevent further spread of the virus.

“There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus at Oakton Community College,” President Joi Smith stated in her email. “That said, we are taking proactive action to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Spring break begins on March 16 and will continue an extra week through March 29, though employees are expected to continue work at the College on March 23. All lecture classes will move online beginning on Monday, March 30 and will remain so till Friday, April 24.

All events of over 50 attendees that are school-sponsored or a result of student organizations will be cancelled throughout this time.

As of now, campus buildings will remain open and student services, such as tutoring, advising, and library services, will continue to be offered. The administration advises students to check their email and D2L shells for consistent updates from their professors and to periodically check for information from Oakton’s page on Coronavirus Prevention and Preparedness.

Students have expressed frustration about the sudden change and are uncertain about how the transition will impact academic learning due to the lack of personal interaction.

“Personally, I’m not an online type of student. I like face-to-face interaction. This transition might be a little difficult to adjust to, especially for those of us who struggle with time management,” Vice President of Student Government Gabriela Lopez said. “Also, I had signed up for my first yoga class, and I have no idea if that will even be able to take place. Will I get a refund for that class?”

Furthermore, numerous events sponsored by clubs and student organizations have been cancelled,┬áincluding Habitat for Humanity’s yearly volunteer trip and the annual Phi Theta Kappa’s Catalyst convention.

Lopez believes these cancellations come at a large cost to students who have worked hard yearlong and believes that the administration should aim to avoid extreme precautions unless necessary.

“Activities-wise, it’s a tragedy that all these planned events have to be cancelled because students worked very hard throughout the school year to make them happen,” Lopez continued. “At the end of the day, we need to be conscious that these extreme measures are happening to protect us and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

Smith affirms that the school’s primary focus is the wellness of students and believes that these preventive steps will protect students from future spread of the virus.

“I want to reiterate that maintaining the health and wellness of our entire campus community, especially students, remains our top priority,” Smith said. “While this situation is certainly unique, I am confident that we will get through this and I assure you we are doing everything we can serve you to the best of our abilities.”