Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Campus is closed… What’s next for The Collegian?

The Henry Madden Library, nearly empty due to the temporary cancelation of in-person classes on Monday, March 16, 2020.

At 11:27 a.m. on March 17, 2020, the Fresno State University Communications sent out a campuswide email stating that in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 the campus would be closing effective March 18 to students and all non-essential campus offices on March 20.

The announcement essentially means that The Collegian will no longer be able to produce a weekly issue for the rest of the semester and will only be able to produce online-only content. But more importantly, this announcement put into question whether the staff that I currently oversee was going to have a job after spring break.

This is an issue that many students who work on campus will be facing. The email states that all student assistants will not be required to work on campus, but will be paid the hours they would have otherwise worked through April 5.

It is a godsend that student assistants will be paid through April 5, but what’s next? What happens after April 5? How will students be able to survive without a source of income they rely on?

I feel for those students who are dependent on those sources of income. I am one of them. My staff is made up of them.

Fortunately, all of my staff will get paid through the remainder of the semester. 

Unfortunately, there are still students out there who face financial uncertainty, and I would hope that the on-campus employers who have the funds to help their workers decide to, even if that means their budget takes a huge hit.

The university also was in the middle of transitioning to virtual instruction before the announcement. I do not have faith in the future due to the unpreparedness of everyone involved in the transition. And now we will be online for the entire semester, not just until the end of April.

Many concerns have been raised including: What will happen to students who do not have the internet or the technology to transition to virtual instruction? What will happen to the students who now have to homeschool their children, while also having to attend virtual classes? How can anyone focus on school with what is currently going on in the world?

I believe that the university has done the best of its ability to help the student body, but I do not think it has done enough and is capable of doing enough because I don’t think they know what to do. No one does.

This is all uncharted territory and I don’t know what can be done to make all class transitions happen smoothly, but the reality is there are classes out there that do not transition to virtual instruction. Some students themselves will have trouble transitioning to virtual learning.

Now our grades will be dependent on whether or not your professor knows how to use zoom or can reconstruct a syllabus. Many of them have been using zoom for years.

Many of them can say they can, but I don’t believe them. The university says the professors can, but I don’t believe it.

And I don’t think that we as students have created enough of an uproar and push back on how this whole situation has been handled. At this point you have to start thinking about what is best for yourself and let your voice be heard.

This all comes days after almost all sports nationwide have been suspended, many major metropolitan areas have become ghost towns and people in our society have fearfully purchased in preparation of cataclysm events, leaving store shelves barren.

I am halfway through my third month as editor-in-chief of The Collegian, and I never thought that everything that is currently happening in our world was possible. The last week and a half have felt like a lifetime and I am not sure how long it will last.

To be honest, I don’t know what’s next.

What I do know is that my staff has cleaned out their desks, for the seniors this will be their last issue and we don’t know how long any of this will last.

But, as we work remotely from home and transition to online-only content, myself and The Collegian will continue to inform the student body to the best of our abilities until this subsides.

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