I feel like I speak for a portionable size of ULM when I say that Zoom and hybrid classes have got to go.
Students are not motivated to try anymore with how laid back standards are due to the pandemic. Classes that have no business being held online continue to plague the schedules of many students.
We were led on twice about in-person classes returning at ULM. Entering last spring I was ecstatic that my classes were in-person. Then the semester arrived and just two of my six classes had the option to go in-person.
The in-person classes were mostly empty and the professors spoke into a camera where about 20 people laid in bed with their cameras turned off. And who could blame them? If you don’t have to show up and your exams are on Moodle, why try? As long as everything is completed by 11:59 p.m., you would at least finish with a B in the class.
Even this fall there are days I don’t have to get out of bed because my Zoom schedule aligns just right. But nearly a year later, the pandemic landscape is different.
By now students have made their choice to get vaccinated or undergo routine testing for the next semester. According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana now has the nation’s lowest COVID hospitalization rate. So certainly we should expect the end of hybrid classes in the spring, right?
I feel that it’s not just students like me hoping for this change. Since last spring I’ve heard professors complain about the lack of participation in classes because of Zoom or the sadness of teaching to 50 people in a classroom that seats 100 students.
I’m not going to downplay everything that has happened since March of last year. It’s been brutal to everyone regardless of if they’ve caught COVID or not. The mental toll has weighed on everyone.
But it’s time to step forward.
Receiving a proper four-year education can only come with in-person experience. We cannot expect students to wade through classes where they are disconnected from the professor or informational material any longer.
The majority of the population has access to a vaccine that will, at bare minimum, make a case of COVID less severe. Treatment options are on the horizon. Let’s not act like the “new normal” has to be a permanent event. Being around other students on campus on a regular basis is a great step toward rebuilding society as we approach the post-pandemic world.