As the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world in early 2020, Southern Connecticut State University converted its entire spring curriculum at midterm to completely remote learning.
The campus was shut down on March 11, a few days short of spring break. The dorms closed and we all went home to figure out how to complete our course requirements with our professors online. In addition to the usual Blackboard posting of materials, we learned about the value of Teams, WebEx and Zoom to stay connected.
The upheaval and drastic change from our traditional on-ground residential and commuter experiences to the shelter-in-place lockdown in our own homes, near and far away, forced us to drastically change the way clubs and organizations met on campus. Student offices, bustling with activities on March 10, were shut down the next day. The then-empty Michael J. Adanti Student Center had an eerie feel and students and their advisers, with the help of the Student Involvement—like their classes—had to retool in the virtual meeting world. All staff worked tirelessly on students’ behalf.
Events such as a virtual walkathon, Southern News’ Meet the Editors on Instagram, VPAS’ numerous offerings, weekly Foodie Fridays and Digital Caricatures helped all stay connected. Hosting sites showed people’s faces filling square frames on computer screens.
The Student Government Association also diligently worked to keep students connected to campus, and served as a voice in emergency and ongoing business sessions with students and beyond.
We adapted during an unprecedented time. While transitioning to Fall 2020, with so much still unknown is unsettling for everyone. But we will start a “new normal” that keeps us “Southern Strong.”