Students should be able to “Zoom in”

Hannah Brooks, Features Editor

One thing that we were able to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is that technology is a very prevalent and useful part of our lives, whether for better or for worse. People were able to use technology in an entirely different way—for doctor’s appointments, working, attending classes and more. What I am focused on here is the attending classes part. I think it is great that we were, and are, able to utilize Zoom for our classes when we are in quarantine for COVID-19. I also feel that we should be able to use it for more reasons. I can understand, as I have been told by professors, that Mercyhurst is a “residential school,” thus we cannot attend all of our classes virtually.

However, I feel that in this day and age, we have the technology so why not use it? I feel that offering Zoom class as an alternative to regular classes could actually be very beneficial to both professors and students alike.For instance, if you live in Erie, you know it snows. (I’ve lived here for my entire life and don’t believe I will ever be used to the snow that we get here). Some snow storms are severe enough to the point that plows and salt trucks cannot keep up and conditions are hazardous. Not to mention that pile ups on the interstates seem to be basically inevitable when the snow falls hard. If Zoom classes were offered, then professors and students who commute would not have to risk treacherous conditions to get to class.Additionally, I feel that the offering of Zoom classes could help to reduce absences from illness that may cause a student to miss class, but if given the option, they may be able to attend class over Zoom.

It could also be helpful for many other non-illness related reasons that a student may miss class. Being able to attend class online would be very beneficial for days where a student may not necessarily be feeling at their best to actually leave to attend class, but could do fine by attending online. To further reiterate this point, I will talk about an issue that is controversial on two sides—attendance policies. Some courses have none, while others are very strict and do not even allow for more than one class session to be missed. As a student, obviously I have a lot of thoughts on this and feel that it is not always fair. I can appreciate the viewpoint of professors—they spend a lot of time preparing the material and lectures, and some courses really do require a lot more participation and class time.

If this option were to be considered, students could have a bit more flexibility on days where they could attend class but may not necessarily be able to make it to the classroom and professors may see less absences.I really feel that this is an idea that should be considered by those who have the power to make it happen. I understand that the school may not want students to take advantage of this and only attend classes over Zoom, but even if students were given just a few days over the course of the semester where they could choose to attend class over Zoom, this could be beneficial. Professors could also benefit in a similar way to students if they were unable to make it to campus for some reason. Above all else, we have the technology, so why not use it?