It may take weeks, months, or even years for LCCC to look like its former self. Not worrying about social distancing, masks and hand sanitizing is something that will probably never go away, at least to some degree. Covid-19 has changed education the way September 11, 2001 changed the airline industry. LCCC is doing what it can to help preserve the college experience for new and returning students, but we’d like to see more.
Academically, we understand the school is doing the best it can do. Classes are offered online on a schedule (synchronous), online anytime (asynchronous), face-to-face and hybrid. In order to attend classes on campus you have to follow certain guidelines and masks must be worn at all times.
Zoom has become every student’s new roadway to school as we all save time and money logging into class deciding if it’s a camera on or off kind of day. Where resources were lacking, the college was quick to step up and help the students, and our instructors have adapted wonderfully adding technology to their own collections.
But most of the experiences that make college a great place are gone. Fall sports have all been canceled, save for a few soccer exhibition games and the rodeo. So what is LCCC doing about it?
Clubs, theater performances and music concerts are all taking place via Zoom. Earlier this year, the theater department set up a Shakespeare in the Plaza event, where students recited the Bard’s works in public. This event was outside, with room to social distance, and as safe as you can be in this era. It was creative and brought people together, and it’s exactly the kind of thing LCCC needs to think about more in the spring.
We know the weather will be a challenge. We know Covid-19 is scary and cases are rising across the country. We also know we’ve had almost a year to figure it out. We know wearing masks greatly reduces the chances of giving the virus to someone or catching it. We know events outside help mitigate the risk. We also know how to stay 6 feet apart from one another, we just need to make sure that we remember to do so when possible.
We don’t want students to come away from LCCC thinking an online class is all the school has to offer. We also know students are struggling. Little ways for them to feel more at home might be an answer. Finally, if LCCC doesn’t provide any social outlet, the students will find it themselves. We have, in this issue, evidence that students are getting together without any of the precautions we all need to take.
We know this seems idealistic, even unrealistic. We know we are asking a lot of LCCC. But what better time is there to be idealistic than when you’re in college?