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Delivering News From The Source

Waldorf’s President Weighs in on Graduation and Online Classes

COVID-19 has turned campus into a ghost town. Photo from the Waldorf University Facebook page.

By Diana Humble

As the spring semester wraps up for Waldorf University’s distance-learning students, there is still a lot of lingering uncertainty about the future.

In an online “Pizza with the President” session, Waldorf University President, Bob Alsop, relayed that there is not a firm date set for the class of 2020’s graduation ceremony. The ceremony was supposed to take place on Saturday, May 9, but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of my favorite parts of the year is seeing the graduating seniors be recognized as they walk across the stage,” President Alsop said. “But right now, safety must be our priority.”

Senior communications major, Theo Schoneman, mirrors these sentiments.

“I’m extremely disappointed that graduation has been moved back and we don’t know when it will be,” Schoneman said. “However, with the danger of bringing people together during the COVID-19 pandemic—I completely understand the decision.”

Many universities across the country have announced they will be holding their ceremonies on the same weekend as homecoming this fall. Waldorf University emailed a survey to graduating seniors to assess what date would work best for them, but no results have been shared since the survey closed.

“I’m really anxious,” said graduating history major and political science minor, Rachel Dreeszen. “There was talk about moving the date in early April, but nothing now.”

Graduation is not the only thing in limbo—the possibility of resuming classes online next semester is very real. Students have mixed reactions about the prospect.

“Academically, I’d love it,” said communications major and football player, Jarod McKee. “But sports wise, it would be devastating. Football season would be cancelled, and that would be depressing.”

The campus culture and activities seem to be what students would miss most.

“I would be sad,” said criminal justice major, Rachel Dahlin. “It takes the fun out of college. Seeing my friends and hanging out in the lobby are some of the best parts of my day.”

Communications major, Lisa Blythe, believes the best part about Waldorf’s small campus are the bonds forged between professors and students.

“Going online doesn’t allow for these relationships to develop,” Blythe said. “I also feel the accountability systems for students are much better in person than online.”

“Currently, classes are scheduled to resume in-person this fall,” said President Alsop. “No one wants the semester to go online, but we must have contingency plans in place.”

Waldorf’s COVID-19 subcommittee has been meeting virtually twice a week to cement these contingency plans.

“If we do come back, things will be very different,” he added. “We are setting up an entire floor to quarantine students that come down with COVID-19.”

Waldorf University has already stocked up on personal protective equipment and toilet paper for the next semester.

“Students can pay their tuition in toilet paper now,” President Alsop joked. “Five squares is equal to a dollar!”

While many things have changed at Waldorf University, President Alsop’s antics will always remain the same.