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Closed early because of COVID-19, Midland students adjust to online classes


FREMONT — Stressed about an upcoming paper in her American literature class, Jordan Martin got a frantic phone call from her younger sister on March 7. 

Her sister broke the news that her university suspended in-person classes and that her family wanted to make sure she was okay. 

“I was worried that everything in Fremont had shut down and I didn’t notice because I was holed up in my room doing homework,” Martin said.

Midlands University cancelled classes as a precaution after public health officials confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a woman involved in the Special Olympics at the YMCA in Fremont in early March, weeks before colleges and universities around the country did the same.

Martin quickly began to question how the transition from in person to online classes would work. She worried about her group projects and the student play she is involved with on campus. 

However, the transition to online classes was fairly seamless for Martin and her housemate Veronica Bitz.

The university uses BigBlueButton to host all its classes online and the two of them had used it earlier in the semester because of bad weather. 

“I feel like it’s easy to work and I have older professors who aren’t having any problems,” senior marketing major Bitz said. 

Both students are taking five classes each. All of their classes have been held online at the same times that there would normally be lectures. 

“Some teachers are better at it than others,” Martin said. “Some teachers aren’t technologically savvy.”

Neither of the two have noticed any issues within the application. Sometimes the microphones lag behind for class discussions but it has not posed any issue the students said.

Both are relieved the university took such a drastic prevention step for the community. 

“Midlands is doing everything in their power to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” Bitz said. 

Originally the two were supposed to return back to normal school a week later, but the date kept being pushed back. Then, Midlands University announced that classes would remain online for the remainder of the semester. 

Martin likes the idea of staying in comfortable clothing all day, but is concerned about the loss of a daily routine. 

“Part of me is a massive procrastinator and having online classes and being home all day doesn’t help that,” she said. “Plus, class got me out of the house so it’s kind of depressing not going to campus.”