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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the university’s town hall for seniors

Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the universitys town hall for seniors

On Aug. 18, seniors and their families were invited to a virtual Town Hall addressing plans for the upcoming, remote Loyola experience. The meeting, held via Zoom and hosted by vice president Terry Sawyer, was centered around questions regarding senior year activities, virtual classes, the potential of an in-person spring semester, and life after Loyola. Among the presenters was Loyola’s president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., and other representatives of the University. 

While the session addressed many topics unique to seniors, others were previously covered for first-years, sophomores, and juniors at earlier Town Hall events. For answers to the questions that overlapped among the separate discussions, visit The Greyhound’s recap for first-year students here

The following is a summary of some of the questions and answers, specific to seniors, that were shared. 

Will senior celebration events take place in the fall and spring?

“We hope so. All in-person spring events depend on the state of the virus and MD state guidelines. We won’t know if they will happen until the spring gets closer,” Beth Steiner, director of student activities, said. 

“However, there are other ways to stay engaged and build connections,” she said. “SGA has been meeting weekly since March to plan senior year activities. There will be a class of 2021 podcast, which will feature giveaways and other events. There is also a class of 2021 Instagram page. There will be regular Friday and Saturday late night [events], which include live yoga and cooking classes. Other events are happening as well.” 

Will clubs and organizations operate this year?

“There are about 160 returning clubs and organizations,” Steiner said. “There will be a club leader training in early September, so clubs will know how to operate remotely. There will also be a virtual activities fair on Sept. 10, so club leaders can recruit new students for their clubs.” 

Will African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Services operate in the fall?

ALANA Services will be open for virtual one-on-one meetings in the fall,” Raven Williams, director of ALANA Services, said. “It is never too late to use ALANA Services, and our services are available to everyone. Among other things, we will be hosting celebrations for Latinx heritage, Caribbean heritage, and Native American heritage. We also have two support groups, called MAN2MAN and Sister to Sister

Why was tuition not lowered, even though classes are virtual?

“Our tuition actually went up this year,” Linnane said. “We do not rely on graduate students or TAs, which means that we depend on full-time faculty, which can get expensive.”

Linnane acknowledged the student’s frustrations and explained that faculty are taking salary cuts to help alleviate the budget crisis. According to the president, Loyola is losing $30 million this semester. 

How will upper-level laboratory classes work?

“We are doing a lot to get labs ready for the fall,” Stephen Fowl, Dean of Loyola College, said. “In some courses, like biology, lab kits will be mailed home so students can do labs themselves.” 

In other courses, students will watch their professor perform the lab so that they can use the data to draw conclusions. 

How long should a student expect a Zoom class to be?

Associate vice president Cindy Moore explained that the length of a Zoom session depends on each individual professor, much like the Zoom format during the last spring semester. 

“Class syllabi should be readily available on Moodle by Aug. 24, giving students a sense of frequency and length of each Zoom session,” Moore said. “I do not expect students to be on a computer for six to eight hours a day.” 

Will our spring semester be in-person?

“That is impossible to predict,” Sawyer said. “It depends on a variety of factors that are outside our control. We hope to learn from schools like ND and UNC that are currently open, but in the meantime, we also want to commit ourselves to having the best virtual experience that we can and keeping the Loyola community strong.”  

How will our efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion continue virtually?

We will continue our discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion virtually,” Cheryl Moore-Thomas, chief equity and inclusion officer, said. “The office is creating new board opportunities which will give students leadership positions, and they should begin work in the fall.” 

Outside of these board opportunities, Moore-Thomas is looking forward to having conversations with students both individually and in small groups. 

How will the Career Center cater to the needs of graduating seniors?

“The Career Center will be hosting career fairs and other important events online,” Jim Dickinson, associate director at the Career Center, said. 

“I am available to meet with you if you are worried about your chosen field, or if you have discovered a new interest due to the impact of COVID-19,” Dickinson said. “The Career Center will work with students to help them with internships and other things that their major may require before graduation.” 

For more information on the remote Loyola experience geared toward the community at large, visit this recent recap of Loyola’s first Town Hall session.

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Remote learning at Loyola: a recap of the university’s town hall for seniors