UMass Boston, and the rest of the colleges across Massachusetts have moved totally online and kicked students out of housing.
Per an email on March 11, 2020 from president of the UMass system Marty Meehan, the University of Massachusetts had moved all their classes online. “Through April 3, classes will be taught remotely using web, video, and teleconferencing tools that are available to faculty, and are already being used in many classes throughout the UMass system. All five campuses have been preparing for this possibility over the last few weeks. We will reassess the situation as it progresses and notify students, staff and faculty by April 1 whether we need to prolong the distance learning modality beyond April 6. We are committed to ensuring to the best of our ability the progression of our students toward their degrees.”
Mikey Phillips, from UMass Amherst, told Mass Media in a text, “Getting kicked off campus has been super stressful, none of us know when we can get our belongings out of our dorm rooms, and none of us know what to expect for these online classes; so many of our teachers are still struggling to find a new format to teach. Our online program moodle is a j o k e when it comes to stuff like this, and from what i’ve heard so aren't so classes.”
Kyla Ellis, a student at UMass Dartmouth stated, “I understand why we have to make this move but I am concerned more about my grades. I feel as though it will be harder to keep up with due dates as well as some teachers do not know how to teach online or even use the online programs. I have heard about a petition to either move to a pass/fail or end with the grades we had when we left off. And I feel like that would be a lot more fair.”
Then, for UMass Boston, Delaney Hooper said over messaging, “I think the switch to online classes was necessary; however, it definitely takes away from our learning experience. Despite that, all my professors have handled this well. They are all being diligent with emails and explicitly giving us (students) directions for how the class is moving. As well, some professors are being more lenient with deadlines and giving alternatives to some assignments, which I personally appreciate. My only concern still is how my Labs (which are hands on) are going to convey the same purpose and understand online as they do in person.”
The UMasses aren’t the only school moved online. Community colleges as well as private universities have taken the leap. This time per Governor Charlie Baker. In a Boston Globe article from March 15, 2020 it stated, “And he recommended that all Massachusetts colleges and universities pursue strategies for distance education, keeping students from campus. Most major universities in the Boston area have already done so.”
Quincy College student Michael McLellan stated over text, “Well for me it's a pain because I thrive in a classroom but I cannot do online classes, I've tried before and it just doesn't work for me. I get it, they have to do what they have to do but my grades, and I'm sure many others will suffer.”
Chase Bristol, a junior at Lesley University told Mass Media over text, “I am sensitive to the strain that this situation has created. We each carry numerous responsibilities—for our students, our colleagues, our families and friends, our communities, and ourselves. I am grateful for all that each of you do and for your willingness to care for each other and all of our global citizens in these challenging times.”
As of March 21, 2020, the universities in the UMass system are staying online for the rest of Spring semester.