After Cal Poly announced all spring quarter classes would be taught online and students were encouraged to complete classes from their home residences, students were left with more questions than answers.
“I feel like I was robbed honestly, like this is absolutely insane. The school has told us nothing except for the past three days,” aerospace engineering freshman Sierra Powell said. “It feels like we have to move out and we’re never coming back,” Powell said.
Construction management freshman Catie Dines said the announcement “threw everyone off.”
“I honestly was in denial they would close the school,” Dines said.
Dines said the disorganization increased student stress on campus.
Across all majors, students are unsure what virtual classes look like — especially with labs.
“I’m really stressed because I’m supposed to be in three labs, and I don’t know how they’re going to be completed,” animal science freshman Lauren Ruffner said.
Students living on-campus were told that if they choose to leave, they should take all belongings with them. If on-campus residents have already left or cannot take all of their belongings, they can return in mid-May to retrieve their belongings.
“I’m disappointed. I feel the true college experience is being around the campus,” kinesiology sophomore Jenner Sapienza said.
This sentiment was shared by many freshmen who plan on leaving San Luis Obispo until in-person classes resume in the fall.
“As a first year who’s been living in the dorms, I’m sad that I won’t get to live in the dorms for my last quarter,” philosophy freshman Alya Cherfaoui said. “Especially meeting new people, even in my building. So I’m just sad that that’s going to be over.”
Some students predicted classes were headed online, especially after most other California public universities had already moved to a virtual format for the remainder of the academic year.
“I definitely think that it kind of comes as something that we all predicted,” political science freshman Sophia Jidkov said. “I think that just because a lot of the other CSU’s and the Universities of California have already shut down. Everybody was just kind of waiting for that confirmation.”
Commencement ceremonies have also been postponed while the university looks into “alternative ways” to celebrate graduating students.
“You work really hard all four years and you look forward to walking across the stage,” Kinesiology Senior Ian Wilson said.
Powell is looking on the bright side. She said it was cool to be part of a “historic” event in Cal Poly’s history.
“We always think it’s so cool to find the kids who lived in Fremont [Hall in 2016] and always ask them about that,” Powell said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the incoming students in a few years will think of this year.”