It is apparent that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has been both a blessing and a curse. Allowing classes to be held virtually while the world was deemed unsafe, Zoom helped schools, businesses and other organizations to have some sort of normalcy during those difficult times. Classes and meetings were able to continue with only minimal disturbances while individuals could meet virtually from any location.
With the world beginning to return to normal, Zoom has become a lesser part of our lives. At Fairfield University, classes are almost held entirely in-person, with a few exceptions, of course. Zoom continues to have useful advantages within the education system which can be seen through professors’ use of the platform to hold office hours or other meetings. However, the school is seemingly attempting to make all classes in-person from this point forward. Although I do believe that this shows positive progress towards returning to the state we were in before COIVD-19, it is not accommodating to those students who have unfortunately tested positive.
I believe that professors should be allowed to, if not obligated to, hold hybrid classes in the sense that quarantined students who have COVID-19 can easily Zoom into class. It seems as though Fairfield is not accommodating students who have to go home or miss class because they either have COVID-19 or worrisome symptoms.
Professors are telling these students to talk to a classmate or go to their office hours in order to catch up on the material they missed. Perhaps before the pandemic this option was the best a professor could offer, however, in the state of the pandemic that we are living through right now, it seems as though people are not making use of the technologies, such as Zoom, that would allow an alternative possibility for students.
Before COVID-19, if a student felt sick and they would not be able to go to class, they usually would not miss that much. Now, with a minimum five-day isolation period, students are missing out on multiple classes and are unable to do much about it.
Without a better option, students who are not wanting to miss class material may feel obligated to go to class even though they may feel sick or have symptoms. This only increases the chances of COVID-19 being spread and I believe this can be avoided through the solution of having professors teach on Zoom if a student requires it.
Sophomore student Catherine Zarrella states, “I am worried that I will miss critical information for these courses by not having the opportunity to Zoom into class if I test positive.” Zarrella’s concern is shared by many other students who cannot afford to miss class due to either the intense level of classes they are taking or simply their major.
I am not unaware of the fact that some students may take this feature for granted and decide to skip class and only attend on Zoom. This number, however, seems low to me since I know many students who prefer in-person learning due to the fact that they gain a much better understanding of the class.
I am also not saying that classes should be put on Zoom again, similar to last year’s type of learning. I am simply stating that it seems as though the school should accommodate those students who have COVID-19. Especially with the Omicron variant being the most transmissible variant of COVID-19, according to the CDC, it is inevitable that many students will now become sick. I believe that the University should be more accommodating to those who are infected.