Stanford University, a campus once filled with thousands of students pacing the grounds, has now been reduced to a campus that houses a couple hundred undergraduates following the safety protocol.
The exodus happened quickly in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During week nine of the second semester, undergraduates were first alerted of their school’s potential closure by the administration. Four days later, administrators told students to leave campus and go home. However, some are still on campus despite the lockdown.
There was a process where people could apply to stay on campus if they had a good reason, such as not wanting to infect others. Currently, roughly 200 people remain on campus according to a Palo Alto Online article.
“I didn’t want to leave school, but I knew it was the right choice,” Stanford freshman and Palo Alto High School graduate Josh Singh said. “I like the job the administration is doing. I think they are doing the best they can with the limited amount of knowledge we all have.”
Stanford has also initiated a credit-only grading system to ensure more equity in the grading system.
Evan Baldonado, a Stanford freshman and Palo Alto High School graduate, was also uprooted by the pandemic. Baldonado left campus like many other students but said the university did not exercise its best judgment in not giving students enough warning and disrupting their natural schedule.
“I was glad that the university wanted to keep us safe, but many of us felt that we would have to leave campus eventually,” Baldonado said. “We just didn’t know when.”
Baldonado also said the online-school experience did not come close to face-to-face teaching.
“A lot of value to school for me comes from the interactions,” Baldonado said.
Collin Grant, a Stanford sophomore and Gunn High School graduate, said he got word from the admin that school was likely going to be shut down on March 6.
Grant is a member of Stanford’s Ultimate Frisbee team, and all of its games and practices were canceled.
“We had a tournament on Friday, and they canceled it which was kind of sad,” Grant said. “We were all kinda surprised because we had heard that this was happening in other countries and just never had seen the United States affected.”
Grant also said his online learning experiences have not been as good as when he was learning on campus.
“It definitely depends whether you’re in a bunch of small classes or larger lectures. Class difficulty does not depend on size,” Grant said.
With coronavirus cases still on the rise, action must be taken in order to ensure that there is not a very noticeable spike.
“Of course, cases are going to rise,” Grant said. “We can only flatten the curve by going home and social distancing.”
And colleges could potentially be shut down to in-person classes well into the next school year.
“It really depends on how the situation develops,” Grant said. “Colleges have students from all around the world, from different time zones, living situations, family situations, etc and there are so many factors that could influence a students performance”.