As the semester comes to a close, we at The Gatepost would like to extend our appreciation to all those who helped the entire FSU community finish strong.
This was not the spring semester any of us were expecting. We were separated from friends and faculty when our campus had to close, and the transition to all online classes has been difficult for many.
But despite every challenge our campus community has faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our administrators, faculty and staff, as well as students have all done what they could to make it through the semester.
Our administration has worked day in and day out to adapt our campus to these unfortunate times. We acknowledge the difficult decisions they’ve had to make to guarantee not only our safety, but the safety of the greater community.
As the virus began to make its way across Massachusetts, our administrators began to hold emergency meetings every day to discuss and recommend solutions to combat its impact on the University. They also paid close attention to the advice Gov. Charlie Baker has given and planned accordingly.
When the time came to close campus, they made sure each of our more than 1,200 resident students were able to move out swiftly while also maintaining a safe social distance. They even went as far as to refund each of these students for having to leave their home away from home way too early.
And while campus may no longer boast the crowds it normally would with the warm spring weather, facilities staff have kept each building clean and virus-free.
Without numerous staff and contract workers, our campus would grind to a halt. Whether you are serving 30 students or over 3,000, we thank you for your commitment and dedication.
Before we logged onto our online classes at home in this new virtual setting, administrators ensured our professors were as prepared as they could be to continue to teach.
We want to thank them for all the work they have done and all the work they are continuing to do.
Our professors deserve recognition, too, for adapting their syllabi on such short notice and moving to an entirely new classroom setting. This was not an easy task.
We want to thank them for working with us and understanding how much of a toll this situation has taken on students.
We’re also grateful for the effort put forth by faculty members and administrators on the All University Committee and Academic Policies Committee who worked together to implement temporary changes to the Pass/Fail Policy. This will allow students to take any class on a pass/fail basis for this semester.
Some students, through no fault of their own, have been unfairly challenged by the new online setting. They may experience technical difficulties as they try to connect to their classes or endure unconducive learning conditions at home that distract them from their work.
But through the updated Pass/Fail Policy, the laptop lending program, and all the other programs put in place, our dilemmas and frustrations have been heard. Professors, as well as administrators, have worked to make the transition easier for us to bear.
And we, as students, all know this transition has not been easy. Not just academically, but socially as well.
We all looked forward to spending our last weeks on campus in front of May Hall doing our homework, reading a book, or attending our final sports games of the season, and for some, the final sports games of our collegiate careers.
And, although it is not ideal, many clubs still managed to hold meetings and events virtually, and used social media to their advantage to maintain a presence in the FSU community – for that, we applaud you.
From SUAB’s virtual BINGO to WDJM’s playlist contests, and especially remote student government meetings, our fellow student organizations kept the excitement of campus alive online.
We all deserve a well-earned pat on the back for adjusting to such stressful circumstances.
To our graduating seniors, this past semester has been like no other we’ve ever experienced, and we know this is not the way you wanted to end your collegiate career.
We long for the day we get to see you walk across the stage, shake President Cevallos’ hand, and receive the degree you worked so hard to attain.
We cannot wait for the day we reunite with our fellow Rams.