Seniors Saddened by Unexpected Break in Semester

by Jilleen Barrett, Assistant A&E Editor

Although this unexpected lapse from students’ time on campus has caused difficulties for everyone at Manhattan College, seniors are particularly affected. Some of the issues concerning the class of 2020 are those that come with online classes. These strains are considerably unfortunate to deal with at the end of senior year.

Mike Hackett, a communication major with a concentration in public relations, explained the difficulties of taking digitally based classes from home where he doesn’t have access to software that is necessary for the projects he has to complete.

“Only one of my classes can essentially function in the online format, but even that class is heavily dependent on group work which will make it a little more difficult,” Hackett said. “I also will not have my professors readily available to take a look at my projects as I am working on them which will definitely affect my process of completing assignments.”

Mike Hackett shared his concerns about taking digitally based classes online. MIKE HACKETT/COURTESY


Shannon Colford, a double major in communication and Spanish, detailed how using Google Hangout and other online methods of education to complete her classes has kept her from learning as effectively.

“As a student who sits in the front row in all my classes, I find I learn best if I am fully engaged in class with a pencil in hand and avoiding the distractions of technology,” Colford said. “That being said, since the switch to online classes, I have felt less immersed in the material.”

Shannon Colford, a student-athlete, explained she dislikes courses not being conducted face to face. SHANNON COLFORD/COURTESY

Engineering majors are impacted the most in terms of online classes, considering most classes require technology and programs that are not accessible off campus. Michael LaValle, who has a concentration in civil engineering, is experiencing this hardship.

“Moving to online classes is tough because I have classes that require some in depth programs that are not accessible off of campus and there are classes in which I have large group presentations that we have to find a new way to give,” LaValle said.

Engineering student Michael LaValle has trouble taking online classes, not having access to certain softwares and programs. MICHAEL LAVALLE/COURTESY


Alyssa DeRosa, a communication major with a concentration in broadcasting, voiced her apprehension about the fate of the commencement ceremony in May.

“My biggest concern is that they’re going to cancel graduation because if they did my mom would be absolutely devastated,” DeRosa said.

In addition to the drawbacks of online classes, many of them have internships or other obligations that will force them to stay on campus despite the encouragement from MC to stay home.

Senior Alyssa DeRosa is concerned her graduation ceremony may be jeopardized due to Manhattan College’s move online amid the virus outbreak. ALYSSA DEROSA/COURTESY

DeRosa interns for Dr. Oz in addition to working on Broadway as an assistive hearing device representative, and in the communications department under Michael Grabowski, Ph.D.

“We’re fortunate enough that Dr. Grabowski closed the office through spring break,” DeRosa said. “We also had to cancel the alumni networking event that was supposed to take place when we got back from break. I was looking forward to it as I don’t really have that much set up for next year.”

On Thursday, March 12 it was announced that the rowing team would be terminating their spring season via their Instagram @manhattanrowing. Colford, a member of the team, communicated her thoughts on the season ending suddenly. 

My team had planned to stay on campus and row for the first half of spring break and then we were supposed to have our first race of the season on March 18 down in Florida,” Colford said. “Between the cancellation of my rowing season and the drastic educational changes, this week has been tumultuous to say the least.”

The most devastating part for many seniors though, is the way this will change their social lives during their last semester at Manhattan College.

“I am sad that we aren’t on campus for the majority of this month, especially since it is our last semester,” LaValle said. “For some of us, we may go and have a job out of state after graduation and may not be able to see our friends that frequently anymore so I am hoping that we can get back into campus for regular classes again before the semester is over.”

Despite how upsetting this may be for them, most seniors seem to be staying positive.

“As I talk with others, the fear is very much present that [the interruption of regular classes] could be more long term,” Colford said. “Between the move to online classes and the abrupt ending to my season, I am getting hit with the realization that the conclusion of my college days is near. I wish that this reminder had been more of a whisper than a slap in the face, but it is a reality that seniors have to rise to the occasion to overcome.”