Faculty member Dana Griffin shared her perspective around universities and colleges re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic in a feature by People magazine.
In its series “People’s Voices from the Pandemic,” Griffin talked about students’ experiences during the pandemic, saying that re-opening of campuses for in-person learning didn’t work and that important voices of workers and students were not taken into account during re-opening planning.
“It wasn’t easy to get ready for this upcoming school year, but faculty and staff worked hard to get it done,” said Griffin, an associate professor who teaches in the school counseling program. Griffin also serves as the Dean’s Fellow for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“My colleagues showed 100% dedication to this transition, even as they had to face their own worries around family and friends; even as they faced personal health issues; even as they transitioned to being the childcare providers and teachers to their own children; even as they were concerned about their own college-aged children on campuses,” she said.
Griffin told about how on her first day of class, she asked students to talk about how they are doing — an exercise that ended up taking up the entire class time. Her tweet about the experience went viral.
“College students are dealing with a lot,” Griffin said in the People article. “I don’t know what their home lives are like either, and I told my students that. If they can’t do the work or they don’t have access to internet or technology, I told them to let me know and I will work with them where they are, because I want to be sure that those who don’t have access also have the same opportunities as those who do.”
She praised the work done by may faculty and staff, preparing for the Fall semester.
“It has been incredibly time-consuming and overwhelming to transition to this new learning environment,” she said. “The only thing that has made it survivable has been the support from my colleagues and knowing that our students are receiving the same knowledge and expertise from us, just in a different way.”