Loyola students react to move to online classes

Loyola+students+walk+on+campus

Loyola students walk all over campus after finding out about the university's decision to move online for the remainder of the Spring semester. The university decided to shut down in class operations due to the growing presence of COVID-19 in Louisiana. Photo credit: Cody Downey

Cody Downey and JC Canicosa

After an email sent on March 11 that announced Loyola University’s move to online classes for the remainder of the semester, students across campus felt a range of different emotions.

Clutching a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and four bags full of food, mass communication senior Emmaline Bouchillon decided to go grocery shopping in The Market at Loyola.

“I had some Wolfbucks left and I decided to treat myself to some great groceries while I still can,” Bouchillon said. “Enjoy my last few days on Loyola’s campus.”

Bouchillon said she was overall saddened by the university’s move especially because it is her senior year.

“This was supposed to be my last time to see people I’ve grown to love and gotten to know,” she said. “But now, it’s the last few days and it’s coming way too fast and way too hard.”

At another part of campus, freshman Alexis Horton was having mixed emotions for completely different reasons. Aside from the worries of not knowing what was going on, Horton had officially changed her major 20 minutes before the email was sent.

“The fact that I just changed my major and I would like to meet with new people now I’m more nervous because I feel like it’s going to be harder for me to do things,” Horton said.

Horton said she was also nervous about whether she would return home to Slidell, Louisiana or not.

“I don’t really want to go home,” she said. “My home is 30 minutes away and the coronavirus is probably there too. So, I don’t know where it is safer to be.”

While other students across campus were feeling the same dilemmas, Student Government Association President and sociology senior Jessamyn Reichmann was meeting with campus faculty to act as a representative for the student body.

“I just started asking questions that came to my mind,” Reichmann said. “Questions that weren’t addressed in the first email and they answered all my questions and answered all my concerns.”

Reichmann said that university faculty answered the best way they could in regards to this scenario.

“Of course, there were things that were hard to hear,” she said. “[There were] moments where I teared up a bit just a bit just as a graduating senior.”

As a student herself, Reichmann said that the experience of hearing of the school’s move to online was upsetting to find out.

“I didn’t wake up in the morning realizing that it was going to be my last day of school as a senior and at Loyola essentially,” she said. “Just even the fact that I won’t be able to see my friends when I’m walking to and from class or see Mrs. Trina in the OR. Just little things.”

With these feelings of being upset, students are opposed to having to now take online classes.

“I didn’t take online classes for a reason,” Horton said. “I just don’t see it as being comparable to actually being in class with a real professor.”

For Bouchillon, she said she is curious how some of her classes will adapt to moving formats.

“Some of my classes are art classes and I can’t sculpt at my house or online,” she said. “So, that will be interesting to see how that plays out.”

With questions and worries such as these, Reichmann said that she will “keep her ear to the ground” on student issues and make sure she can be an outlet for these concerns.

“I’m just going to continue to represent the student voices and continue to go to the board of trustee meetings and really advocate for things that aren’t necessarily addressed in those emails that are to come,” she said. “I will continue to work until I am sworn out of office to make sure students are well protected.”

To see Reichmann’s full comments, click here.