CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Earlier this month, the Florida Board of Governors approved reopening plans for the state’s 12 public universities.
With a surge of new COVID-19 cases, universities are taking stringent measures to create safe environments for students on campuses such as moving large classes to an online format, reducing the number of residents in dormitories, and requiring masks.
In many ways, the universities students left in the spring will bear little resemblance to the ones they are returning to in August or later.
How do Coral Springs students attending state universities feel about these changes – and the risks of returning to their campuses?
“It is a risk to my health,” said Dylan Castillo, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida (UCF), “and I feel the education that will be provided will not be up to par with normal schooling.”
Castillo said he does not want to take chances with the virus and prefers UCF take a different approach: one that accepts pre-COVID education is simply unattainable at this time.
“Learning the curriculum has been harder because it is difficult for professors to teach effectively during the pandemic, so grades should be calculated on a different scale to help students,” he said.
Eric Odza, a University of Florida student, sees the issue differently.
He said he misses college and wants to go back and be with his friends. Plus, he said he has a hard time studying at home.
Still, Odza said he is concerned about safety.
“I am scared of the virus and its impact is clear, but testing is improving and there are constant advancements in the treatment and fighting of the virus,” he said. “When I go back, I will take the necessary precautions to stay safe.”
Learn more about the Florida Board of Governors reopening plans here.
Athitheya Gobinathan is the 2019 valedictorian of Coral Springs High School who attends University of Florida.
Read his previous stories:
Know a story we should share with our readers? Email editor Leon Fooksman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell him about it.