MSA survey: Most students prefer going all-online for fall classes

The MSA released a survey asking students to share their opinion on reopening campus shortly after the Board of Regents decided to move all classes online for up to two weeks.

Ava Thompson

A majority of students surveyed by the Minnesota Student Association believe that switching to a fully online course for the fall semester will increase safety for the University of Minnesota community.

The survey received responses from 3,789 students, and was sent out to students on Aug. 27 to collect opinions about campus safety in the wake of reopening campus and operating in a hybrid format.

On Aug. 24, the University’s Board of Regents approved a plan to move all in-person classes online for up to two weeks. They also delayed move-in to University residence halls until after the first two weeks of fall semester.

The survey found that 40% of students said that they do not feel the University’s COVID-19 precautions will keep them safe.

Nathan Brown, a third-year student, said he feels that some campus safety measures could be improved.

“I personally feel safe for the most part on campus. However, there are some precautions that seem to be ignored such as in my in-person lab. While we are required to wear masks, they [the University] haven’t taken any further precautions to keep students safe,” Brown said. “There are about twenty of us crammed into one lab room for each section. I would feel safer if the University had provided more sections of the lab so that less people would be in one room at a time.”

Jenna Leseman, another third-year student, thinks a hybrid format was a good decision by the University. However, Leseman attends all her classes online, and said that she would be uncomfortable going to an in-person class.

“I don’t find it necessary to be in person,” Leseman said.

When asked whether she believes the University has taken the necessary COVID-19 precautions, she said doing something is better than doing nothing.

“I don’t see any of the actions that the University has taken as bad,” Leseman said. “It does make me feel a lot safer to be living on campus knowing that there are precautions that are being taken, regardless of what students are doing in their free time.”

First-year student Collin McEllistrem said he likes having a mix of online and in-person classes because it allows more flexibility in his schedule.

“I think I personally am lucky enough to have a good balance of getting to go in person. Most people have none,” McEllistrem said. “I would say I definitely feel safe. I mean, my worry when it comes to COVID would be for my family members.”