Should Higher Education Students Go Back to Campus?
Photo By Billy Shields, Global News
Here, you will find a myriad of opinions on the CAQ’s February 8 announcement that higher education establishments are expected to gradually welcome students back to campus.
Special thanks to Paul Serralheiro and his Writing Feature Stories students for helping us compile Dawson’s many voices.
Managing Editor 2020-2021
By Emma Mégélas
Many Dawson students have mixed feelings about the return and fear being exposed to COVID-19.
Anna-Laurence Gordienko, a first year Cinema and Communications student, suggests that the return plan may be good for the students’ mental health and a great opportunity to leave the computer screens and dive into the college experience in person, but keeps the concern of being at risk for infection in mind. She says the news is ‘’not so safe, but will be a relief for many of us to mentally breathe a little!”
Other Dawson students, like first year Pure and Applied Science student Benjamin Coull-Neveu, agree that the return is too risky and online schooling should continue until the winter semester ends.
Coull-Neveu “strongly believes that the health of students should be paramount’’ and the prevention of newer infections should be prioritized by not returning to school, saying he ‘’prefers that over having to worry about [his] health as a result of attending school in person.”
By Marie-Jeanne Pineault
"I just have so many questions as to how this will be possible," says Miriam Ewa Tulowiecka, a second semester Cinema / Communications student. Tulowiecka is not the only Dawson student who thinks that this news raises many questions and doubts.
"I'm afraid that they are creating a false sense of hope for students. None of this will prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from increasing," says Liliane Espinal Andujar, a second semester Nursing student.
Nevertheless, some students have different opinions on the matter. Mara Matilda Munteanu "feel[s] like that will give [her] a boost of motivation as well as make [her] happier."
Dawson College's students are clearly divided over the circumstances surrounding this complicated situation. Hopefully, the College finds a solution that works for everyone.
By Santiago Castillo
When red flags turn to red zones and students feel their grip on reality slip, it's vital to lend an ear.
Although tempting at first glance, the negative consequences of returning to campus seem to outweigh the benefits.
When asked about her thoughts regarding the matter, second semester Psychology student Marie Sampoil explains how she feels she isn’t physically — or mentally, for that matter — prepared to reenter a school environment. Sampoil added "I think it's such a last minute decision... I'm just not ready!"
Sam Henderson states that "it feels very rushed and unnecessary considering there's still a curfew. Plus, the semester was already set up to be fully online, and therefore, some students may have issues attending them if they were to be in person."
Here, he raises another important question: will reintegration be more trouble than solution?
One could retort with Cadence Patton's stance, who's taking Arts & Culture classes for a second term in a row.
"I've been talking about wanting to go back to school in person. I've never really had a problem with online learning, but I just really missed the community and felt like I was missing out on a lot of experiences."
By Téa Barrett
Isabelle Tabliago, a Law, Society and Justice student argues that “in most high schools and elementary schools, students stick with the same classmates and alternate teachers. However, in cégep and university, every class has different students. Therefore, there is a higher risk of getting the virus and spreading it by alternating the people you attend class with.”
“We’re literally in the middle of a pandemic,” states Shahd Awad, a Literature student. Her concerns for the reopening of classes focus mostly on mental health. “I’ve seen a lot of tweets and comments from post-secondary students expressing how it wouldn’t make a difference and it still wouldn’t feel like a great in-person school experience.” Shahd believes that the optional in-person courses are essentially “pointless,” since most students will not be participating.
While the majority of opinions center around the risks of this event, one student claims to see this as “an opportunity to meet many of the people in my programs that I’ve befriended but never met in person.” Zachary Honsinger-Ruoff, a Law, Society and Justice student thinks that the idea would “help with my, and many students’, lack of motivation and other side effects of isolation,” but only if this is properly carried out by government officials. He worries that if done improperly, “this could lead to the second wave lasting a lot longer than need be, especially since vaccine roll-out is slower than expected.”