Administration Should Offer Zoom Option for Classes

A zoom option was offered during the last academic year, but has since been taken away. 

As the never-ending battle with COVID-19 on campus continues, I find myself asking one question: why isn’t there a Zoom option for classes?

After last year, so many of us were extremely excited to be back in the classroom, engaging with people and getting a more typical college experience. However, things have quickly changed. Positive COVID-19 cases have risen, including a number of breakthrough cases amongst the vaccinated. 

It is clear that the danger of getting this virus has significantly increased with variants, most notably the delta variant, and now, we are wearing masks in almost all indoor settings. So why do we not have a Zoom option for the students who have to be quarantined?

Right now, I am nervous about getting COVID-19, not only because of its danger, but because I do not want to fall behind in class. It would be great to know that there is an option to attend virtually in case I test positive or have to go into isolation, but unfortunately, most professors do not offer a Zoom option. 

I think this is absurd. Our situation with COVID-19 on campus has clearly changed since day one, and we have the technology and resources to add a Zoom option into the classroom. Instead of further isolating those who have to be quarantined, why not allow them to listen in to the class and take notes on the content of the day?

I might understand if creating a Zoom meeting was a long, tedious process that required a large amount of planning. But now, with the resources we have, scheduling a Zoom meeting takes under a minute. There is a need for this option, and the University should ask that professors offer it in case a student needs it.

We came into this semester willing to go back to in person classes, and that’s what everyone enjoys doing. We did our part and got vaccinated. We did what we were asked. But now, our cases have surged, and the situation has changed. Due to this, our approach to attending class should also change. 

Given the fact that we pay to go to an academically rigorous school, we deserve the ability to go on Zoom if we cannot attend in person. We are already stressed out enough with the workload. Not being able to go to class, combined with missing out on educational opportunities, will just increase anxiety. Other colleges around the country are offering the ability to Zoom into class, and it is the most sensible thing to provide to our student body. 

Another important piece of this is students who do not feel well. Right now, many students have been catching a cold going around, but they do not want to miss out on classes because they may not be able to get caught up. Numerous students in my classes have been coughing, sniffling and showing signs that they do not feel well. Without the ability to Zoom in, it seems that the University is putting more students and faculty at risk. Who knows if the symptoms of those around me are the cause of a common cold or COVID-19? 

At the beginning of each course, my professors said not to come in if we did not feel well to keep us safe. 

From there, I expected the next thing to be told was an option to Zoom if this was the case. But, we were not told this. Without a Zoom option, we are encouraging more students to go in person to classes who do not feel well. Villanova must give us the ability to Zoom into classes, or the consequences could be serious.