Students reactions to COVID-19 effect on fall semester

Students reactions to COVID-19 effect on fall semester

Tim Ghianni, journalist-in-residence and a Lumination adviser, asked his 21st Century Media students to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.   Faith, loneliness and worries about infecting their parents are among their tales of studying in the middle of a pandemic. Here are their stories: Never thought freshman year would be covered by masks COVID-19 has caused many changes and problems in our world. Many people have died or experienced serious health complications because, so I always hesitate to share my frustrations with COVID. I realize that other people are dealing with worse than me. But as a college freshman, so many things are changing in my life just because of the transition from high school to college. Then if you add COVID on top of all that, that is a lot of change. My senior year of high school was drastically cut short. I missed out on a lot of things that seniors should be able to do. The biggest being graduation. I was never a person who loved high school, but not getting to walk across the stage in my cap and gown was pretty disappointing. I was able to have a virtual graduation but that just is not the same. Now that I have transitioned into college, I don’t really still feel anger or disappointment about that time, but I do wish I had that memory to look back on. Another major problem that has come with COVID-19 is my freshman experience at Lipscomb. Lipscomb has done an amazing job with keeping us healthy and involved on campus, but there are still some things that...
Lipscomb University experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases

Lipscomb University experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases

This week Lipscomb University saw an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The school reported 85 tests were administered by the Lipscomb Health Center, and there were 13 positive tests with zero hospitalizations. Of the tests administered, 29 were employees, 57 were university students and 41 were academy students. The University website states that “the increase in the number of COVID tests this week is due to testing over 40 student-athletes in accordance with an NCAA COVID testing requirement.” “Last week we shared with you that while our fall semester started strong, we have been carefully watching our trends increase in the wrong direction in the last few weeks,” stated President Lowry in an email to the Lipscomb community this morning. “And, over the weekend and even into Monday’s daily reports, we have seen a continued and marked increase in the COVID-19 statistics among our community. As a matter of fact, we have seen a doubling of our total number in isolation and quarantine in the last three weeks.” As the weeks continue, the Lipscomb staff hopes for the number of COVID-19 cases to go down and continue efforts to manage the illness on campus. “While the Lipscomb community numbers are not a large percentage of our community, they are a concerning trend that if left unaddressed can very quickly result in the need for larger community-wide actions,” said Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, Kim Chaudoin. “Our goal is to take serious note of the increases on our campus and address them now while they are still manageable and generally a situation that we all can help...
Counseling Center sees increased demand for services amid Covid-19 pandemic

Counseling Center sees increased demand for services amid Covid-19 pandemic

Lipscomb’s University Counseling Center has seen an increase in the demand for mental health services this semester, due in part to the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The University Counseling Center, located on the second floor of the Student Activities Center, offers free, confidential services to all Lipscomb students.  “In the past, the Counseling Center has seen faculty and staff, but something that is new this year is that we are limiting it to just students so we can be more available because there is the expectation that we are going to have an increased number (of students). I think there has already been an increase in demand for services,” said Ashley Dumas, assistant director of the Counseling Center.  Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression have been on the rise nationwide this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Among Lipscomb students, it is no different. While mental health conditions are typically more prevalent in 18-25-year-olds than other age groups, the events of this year have caused an increase in the demand for mental health counseling among young adults. “We certainly are seeing an increase in appointment requests,” said Dumas. “Generally, for college students, mental health issues are on the rise and that was the case before Covid-19 happened. What we are seeing in those appointment requests is (that) a high number are anxiety-related, stress and depression.” Despite an increase in appointment requests, the University Counseling Center has been able to keep up with the demand for their services thus far. “Right now, we are managing the demand. We have a lot...
Professors speak on challenges of teaching during a pandemic

Professors speak on challenges of teaching during a pandemic

For universities across the country, 2020 has been quite the educational roller coaster. From being uprooted from campuses in March to some finally returning in August equipped with masks and hand sanitizer, college life is looking different for everyone.  Many have seen first hand how this has impacted students, but that introduces the question: What has this been like for teachers? Or in other words, what does the new normal look like for those in charge of educating?  Dr. Paul Prill, the former Honors College director and current professor of Communication, Technology and Society, said, “The new normal for me is very simple—I will never be in a closed space with my class for 50 minutes.”  Prill based his decision on recent studies that showed reduced COVID transmission rates when outdoors versus inside.  Though new guidelines are in place, a lot was still left up to the teachers. “[Lipscomb has] allowed [students] to decide if you want to be in person or virtual”, said Prill. “They’ve allowed [teachers] to decide if we want to be in person or virtual or some hybrid of the two.”  Prill opted for a hybrid of both Zoom and outside in-person classes; his class has been divided into 3 “cohorts” that alternate weeks to meet in person for lectures. Even so, all the students would be giving speeches over Zoom.   If his class was inside, the students would all be required to wear masks at all times. “Then I can’t see your facial expressions,” said Prill. “I could barely notice any difference in your eye contact.”  Many other teachers are opting for the hybrid...
President Trump and First Lady Melania Test Positive for COVID-19

President Trump and First Lady Melania Test Positive for COVID-19

President Donald Trump announced from his social media that himself and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. This happened shortly after white house advisor Hope Hicks tested positive, which is the reason that the President and First Lady were tested for coronavirus. The White House chief of staff confirmed that the President has mild symptoms. Joe and Jill Biden had themselves tested and both tested negative. The President has also stated that he will not continue campaigning at this moment. Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020 pic.twitter.com/B4H105KVSs — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020 This could mean a lot of things for the election trail as it is getting closer to November. Lipscomb Professor and Chair of History, Politics, and Philosophy Marc Schwerdt said that this could “potentially have a very negative impact on his re-election.” “If President Trump becomes incapacitated, it could be devastating for his election,” said Schwerdt. “The campaign would try to compensate with Vice President Pence. I suspect he will make as many virtual appearances as possible.” These appearances would most likely be done through various rallies, news conferences, speeches, or interviews. The current line of succession in the white house could also be affected by the President’s absence with the 25th amendment coming into play — which states who would fill in for the President if they are unable to perform their duties. This would be the first time the amendment is used since the Nixon...
Zooming through freshman year

Zooming through freshman year

Life is slowly starting to seem more normal. Campus has opened back up, familiar faces are back on campus and students have reunited with their friends yet again. But how does campus look from a freshman perspective? With Quest Week and classes being mostly online, how are the freshman making friends?  “There are not as many events so we have to come up with more creative ways to meet people,” says Madison Head, a freshman on the women’s golf team. Head has some unconventional ideas for ways that freshmen could get more involved. “I wish that we could have a version of quest week again, but have it be in person instead of online,” said Head. “I feel like a lot of people make friends that way, and we didn’t get to experience it.”  With out a doubt, Covid-19 has affected the social life the class of 2024. Sadly, that’s not the only way that the novel coronavirus has affected new students. Karly Falanga, another freshman on the women’s golf team, has struggled more with the academic side of “Zoom University” than the social side. “Classes are a lot harder when they are taught through zoom. I feel like I’m teaching myself,” says Falanga. Upperclassmen are in more specific courses with smaller class sizes, so they get more in-person classes. The freshman are primarily all online or in cohorts, attending class every other week. Not having the in-person class experience may affect grades and GPA’s drastically.  Being a freshman in college during a pandemic is not easy. However, the obvious setbacks that come from a very strange and remote...