On March 13 at 2:36 p.m., Michaela Jurewicz, a senior chemistry student, discovered she had just taken her last in-person class at Northland. “It was a bit . . . unexpected,” she said.
An Emergency Response Team had met for days, listening to experts, and working through the implications of coronavirus and how decisions would impact students. In response to the crisis, a campus-wide email was sent announcing the immediate end of in-person classroom instruction. Northland also halted campus gatherings and the spring sports season came to a premature end.
“We must play our part to keep our community healthy, to limit the transmission of the virus, and to avoid overwhelming the public resources of our region,” said President Karl Solibakke. Students were given the option to stay on campus or return home. One student was packed up and moved out within an hour of the announcement. Others went camping for the weekend before saying goodbye. And others still, remain on campus.
Jurewicz will remain in Ashland and finish her classes online but she does not plan to take a May term course so for her, it’s over. Students will be finishing the final four weeks of classes online. Faculty were given a week to move their classrooms online.
The College had not yet determined decisions for May term. “Like everyone else, we’re adjusting to new information day by day,” Solibakke said. “This is a first and we’re working with the best information we have and doing the best we can.”