In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Kingston during the month of December, Queen’s moved fall 2021 exams online to avoid exposure between community members.
On Dec. 12, the university announced all classes would go back online until Feb. 28. Due to the timing of the announcement, students were given the option to defer their fall semester exams to a later date. Many of these exams are being administered in January as the winter 2022 semester begins.
“I understand why in-person exams were moved online, but it kind of felt like a lot of people were doing it for the wrong reasons,” Dante Caloia, ArtSci ’23, said in an interview with the The Journal.
“It seemed like a bit of an overreaction.”
Caloia felt the negative media attention brought to the university as COVID-19 cases increased prompted the administration to continue with online learning well into the semester, while other universities across Ontario are only keeping things virtual until the end of January.
“I started a petition to get [back] in-person classes,” he said. “I barely even got an answer, and that really doesn’t make me feel heard.”
Caloia said Queen’s could have used a different approach. He felt online learning wasn’t an adequate alternative to in-person learning, in the previous school year.
“As a student, we work hard for our money, and I don’t really think it’s valid for the university to just kind of charge the exact same thing for [a] lower quality education.”
Mitchell Lupa, ArtSci ’23, told The Journal there was a lack of communication from the university on the matter. He found out about the decision to move courses online through “Reddit or Twitter.”
“I don’t think it was a big deal. I mean, we had some in person and we had some online school [during the fall semester], and I don’t mind online school,” Lupa said.
Lupa chose to defer two of his exams. He felt it’s “less stressful” to write exams online.
“It’s a lot less stressful than if you’re sitting in a big room with 300 people. Even without COVID, that’s preferable.”
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