FPU’s Move to Online

How Students Reacted to a Brief Online Experience

The past two years have been a hectic time for many. Life felt normal until a sudden, global pandemic hit and forced everyone to take on a new way of life. It felt like time stood still for a lot of us. Two years of learning, some of us even working, from home. Through it all, we managed to make it out of that Zoom-learning-world. Fall 2021 marked the return to campus life, which brought in-person learning back at FPU. We thought COVID was through with making us learn from behind our screens. We were wrong.

The beginning of the second semester back on campus started odd. Empty parking spaces, missing classmates, and a different vibe from what we had in the fall, filled FPU. Our second semester would only last about two weeks before the bad news hit, the return to virtual learning… temporarily. The rising cases in the Central Valley, as well as the safety of the students and staff, led to the tough decision by President Joseph Jones. Two weeks of distance learning… two weeks back on Zoom. To go from seeing a masked classmate to a black screen and a name was tough. It felt like 2020 all over again, except our hopes were higher, as a return to campus loomed near. 

To better grasp the reaction of moving back to virtual learning, the Syrinx has decided to interview some FPU students.

How did you react to the email President Joseph Jones sent out about moving online?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I respected the position he took when he sent out the email that we were moving online.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“When he sent out the email, I was pretty disappointed. It felt like I was just getting into the swing of school and having a normal college experience.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I was a bit sad about going online but not too worried at all since it was a temporary change.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“I was relieved because COVID cases were rising. I wouldn’t say I was surprised because I did see it coming since cases were rising.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“I wasn’t too surprised since other universities were already online before we were.”

Do you prefer the online setting or on-campus… why?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I very much prefer the on-campus setting, but when the COVID numbers got dangerously high I understood the fact that we needed to go online. It wasn’t just about us not being able to be on campus, it was about nurses and healthcare workers being able to focus on higher risk patients. I am certainly glad that I was not contributing to their stress by not being in person for classes.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“I prefer being on campus because when I’m online I’m not as productive as I should be.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I prefer on-campus as it allows me to focus more, online tends to make me more lazy.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“I prefer on-campus since that is the setting I learn best in. Though given the pandemic I have learned to like both forms of learning as they both pose pros and cons.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“To be frank, either setting is good for me. They each have their pros and cons so it’s all the same to me.”

Would you have preferred FPU to start online to begin the semester and then moved to on-campus after… Why or why not?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I would’ve preferred starting off campus and then moving on campus, or having a staggered start time schedule. This would have been more efficient and less stressful for students and faculty.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“That would be a better transition, because I am a freshman so this college experience is new to me. It would have given me a chance to take it slow.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I believe we should have started online then went in person, instead of flipping back and forth it should have been done at the beginning.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“Yes I would have preferred FPU to have started online as that is what other institutions were doing. I feel that this was an inconvenience to commuters and residents considering preparations that need to be made for housing.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“I think it would’ve made the transition easier for both professors and students if the semester started online and then gradually went back to in person classes.”

It is clear that most people are over virtual learning. Whether it be freshmen who are adapting to college life, or seniors who are trying to finish school, the sentiment remains consistent throughout. While some people have grown used to it and are not as against virtual learning, the overwhelming feeling is that on-campus is better. While we appreciate the swift action of our President in the face of rising cases, perhaps an online start would have been easier to accept. Nonetheless, it is safe to say students are happy to be back on campus and would like for it to stay that way for good.

Written By: Julian Alcaraz | Features Editor

Casey Watkins | Staff Writer

Graphic By: Casey Watkins

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