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Should FGCU be 100% virtual?

Devon Tipton
Staff Writer
As a rookie to surviving a pandemic, I have been doing my best to follow all the safety guidelines that have been advised by the government, the state, and local officials.
Wearing a mask, constantly applying hand sanitizer and staying at least six feet apart is at the top of my daily priorities.
Florida Gulf Coast University is doing their best to maintain guidelines among students as well. Just like the rest of the world, this is FGCU’s first time having to manage a pandemic along with running a campus of 15,000 students.
FGCU is doing an alright job at handling the situation with COVID, however, things can always be better.
Wearing masks everywhere on campus and limiting class capacity has been a great start, but at the same time there’s a few other things that should be implemented.
Amenities such as the Sovi pool and the basketball courts are open.
As fun as those activities are, there is no way to manage capacities or to screen the people who go to those locations.
FGCU can’t be sure that all visitors are completely healthy before interacting with others without additional protocol.
Overall, if on-campus COVID cases continue to increase, then the school should transition completely to virtual classes.
Though I do commend the university for implementing quarantine dorms for those who may have contracted the virus.
“I personally think FGCU is doing a pretty good job handling the virus,” says FGCU sophomore Jessica Holmes. “I think for right now everything is going well, but if cases start going up to uncontrollable numbers, then we should shift to virtual as we did last semester to ensure everyone’s safety.”
If students continue to contract the virus, there will be major outrage from parents as well as the staff in regards to the safety of everyone involved.
“I think classes should be online for the most part with the exception of discussion-based classes (like philosophy) and lab classes,” said FGCU sophomore Avery Jordan. “Those two subject matters are dependent on in-person class rooms. All other classes should be online because for the most part it won’t change the effectiveness of the teaching.”
Jordan’s take on classes that have a lab component has merit.
Those activities can’t exactly be replicated at home or in a virtual setting.
Jordan’s take was also not wrong about classes such as philosophy.
Those discussions in class could be held in an online forum, but the inter-activeness among students and professors wouldn’t feel the same, nor would the flow of those discussions run as smoothly.
Students have more time to formulate answers in an online discussion than they would in class and their answers could also be swayed after viewing other student’s responses.
“My biggest concern is others not being considerate or as cautious about what’s going on right now,” said Jordan. “I’m worried that people will get normalized and feel like the virus won’t affect them and because of that, they’ll put everyone in harm’s way.”
Being a commuter to campus, Holmes took a slightly different approach.
“As someone who commutes to campus, I do feel pretty safe about my limited exposure I experience while going to class, ” said Holmes.
Personally, I happen to agree.
As a commuter, once I leave campus, I’ve escaped a hotspot where thousands of people are congregating every day.
Home feels like an escape, simply because there are less people.
“I admire that they’re taking this virus so seriously with social distancing, masks and frequent disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces,” said Holmes.
It’s comforting as a student to know that our university is taking this pandemic seriously.
Still, more needs to be done.
“I think the school could be handling this better with a few slight adjustments,” said Jordan. “I feel like they should set up outdoor covered areas for eating as opposed to indoor options. As for dorm living, it feels like although the school set up good dorm guidelines, there is no practical way for them to enforce them, especially new visitation rules.”
Dining outside would eliminate the threat of catching COVID in an enclosed space by making social distancing even easier.
There really is no practical way to enforce dorm guidelines except to trust your fellow peers to follow the rules that have been enforced by FGCU Housing.
Overall, FGCU is doing the best it can and we as students can only listen and hold others accountable to maintain the safety of everyone who attends here.

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