Bucks Stays Online for the Fall

Bucks Stays Online for the Fall

Dean Guiliano

Ever since COVID-19 hit the world like a raging storm, universities all over have had to make
major decisions for the safety of the students.
Bucks’ campuses have been closed since March 14, right around the start of the intense
spread of the pandemic. Classes since then have been transferred to online status, with varying
methods in their delivery of assignments and testing.
This is where the concept of remote learning came in to play. In uncertain times, remote
learning has become vital to both students and faculty. Remote learning requires students to meet
with their professor and classmates on a Zoom conference call while being in sync with one
another. E-learning, alternatively, solely requires the completion of assignments and tests with
no Zoom meeting needed. Hybrid classes, having both an in person and virtual component, now
have their online plans laid out in the syllabus.
Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, president of Bucks, shared the plans found by the “Green Team
Task Force on Reopening Campus” back on June 18. In this plan, Shanblatt stated, “Our plan is
grounded, first and foremost, with consideration for the health and safety of our college
community, our second consideration is ensuring a quality learning experience for all enrolled
students.”
The detailed plan further reiterated classes would be only online, save for certain
exceptions that require a direct hands-on approach such as a scientific lab course. Students can
only be on campus for the allotted class time, and they must wear a mask or face covering.
Gina Donaghy, a returning Bucks student, said, “As far as remote learning goes, I feel as
though it’s hard to really get the full experience of a class let alone a full college experience
when you are learning remotely.”
Donaghy continued, “But due to the health risks and exposure that can be involved, I
think it’s good to do to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Leah Miller, in her final semester at Bucks, is very happy with the plan the college has
made.
“I thought Bucks did a great job with their safety plan. They put it out early, before a lot
of colleges did and now that cases are starting to rise again, it worked out well. I was actually
glad everything was online because it meant I wouldn’t have to commute to Newtown for my
final semester,” said Miller.
The Fall semester began on Aug. 26, with further courses commencing on Sept. 14 and
Oct. 19. With the college’s plan in place, students should have a safe and healthy semester until
a vaccine for the virus is available. Then, hopefully things will return to some form of normalcy.