Towards late November, Governor Andrew Cuomo moved Erie County into the Orange Zone. This order placed new restrictions on businesses and educational institutions. Hilbert College was scheduled to transition to online courses after Thanksgiving, but Cuomo’s mandate forced the college to suddenly make the move two weeks earlier.
Due to this early adjustment, many students were caught off guard which resulted in increased stress. As the end of the semester draws closer, many students typically have final projects and papers due. With the onself
Mia Sanchez, forensic science major at Hilbert College, explained how her professors were almost completely ready for the switch, but with her final projects and papers coming up, it was still difficult to meet their guidelines.
“I have a final paper and project in every one of my classes, and I was prepared to ask my professors questions when I saw them face-to-face”, Sanchez said. “It is a lot more difficult to email a professor asking a question when compared to a face-to-face conversation. You have to think about all of the emails that professors are getting regarding their classes, and the time it takes to get back to each student”.
Claudia Wrate, forensic science major at Hilbert College, also found the transition to be difficult. She was not prepared for the switch so soon and found herself struggling to balance her schoolwork with work and her home life. “I was not expecting classes to move online so soon”, Wrate said. “I am taking 6 courses this semester and it is really difficult keeping all of my classwork in order along with working a full-time job”.
Andrew Cuomo’s decision to move Erie County into the Orange Zone was a smart decision for the health and safety of the community, but made things much more difficult for college students who were attending in-person classes. With the use of masks and social distancing, the county should move back into the yellow zone sooner than later.