Winona State responds to COVID-19 pandemic

Madelyn Swenson, Sports Editor

COVID-19 has affected everyone in the United States, including Winona State University students.

On March 12, Winona State President Scott Olson announced that classes would resume again on March 23, with the classes being taught through “alternative methods”.

Eventually, the announcement was made to move classes to online for the rest of the semester, which will start again on March 30.

All faculty, staff and students have been affected by these decisions.

Olson said any decision that affects the education of Winona State students is not an ideal situation.

“It can be difficult to change course so quickly, but that is what’s required in the situation at hand, as the health and safety of our students is paramount,” Olson said.

Jennifer Macho, senior business administration major, said a 20-page group project has been changed to an individual two-page paper to accommodate online learning.

“I also feel as though I am losing out on critical information and lessons that I need to know for my future career,” Macho said in an email.

Mckayla Urbick, senior business administration major, said she does not feel much of an effect from classes going online other than for her Occupational Safety and Health Administration class.

“It has left an unknown for my OSHA300 class, where attendance is mandatory for the certification,” Urbick said.

After the announcement about classes, Winona State announced March 17 that commencement would be postponed indefinitely.

Olson said the indefinite postponement is required because of the current restrictions on large gatherings.

“We don’t know yet whether we can organize a commencement at a later time to honor this spring’s graduates,” Olson said.

Both seniors, Urbick and Macho said they were upset about losing this day but understood why.

“Even though we do not need commencement to be official graduates, the ceremony is a chance to honor the achievements of the graduating class which the spring class of 2020 might miss out on if things don’t get better soon,” Macho said.

One way of combating COVID-19 that other universities have done is close completely, but Olson said he does not see Winona State fully closing.

Olson said because of students that cannot go home, like international students, the university cannot close.

“Services may be reduced further than they already have been to ensure the health and safety of our WSU community,” Olson said.

The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.