BY REYNA IWAMOTO| STAFF WRITER
As of October 15, the LIU Post Campus has paused in-person classes and has moved to remote instruction for the next two weeks in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases on campus.
During the two-week period between October 10 - October 23, the LIU Post campus reported over 65 positive COVID-19 cases.
According to an email from Chief of Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement Michael Berthel on Sunday, Oct. 11, the outbreak occurred due to a series of off-campus gatherings involving members of various athletic teams.
“These students and their close contacts have been isolated or quarantined and we have begun a detailed disinfectant of all impacted areas,” Berthel said. Anyone who was in a class with a student who tested positive was notified and areas of campus that were impacted would also be disinfected, the email stated. In addition to classes being moved online, all athletic activity has been paused, with plans to resume practices on Monday, Nov. 9.
“These social and other violations of New York State and CDC guidelines are unacceptable and put the community at risk,” Berthel stated in the email. “These guidelines are not suggestions and must be strictly adhered to if you are to remain on-campus and reside in the residence halls.”
According to an article by The Pioneer, some athletes are afraid to speak up about the situation that led to the outbreak, fearing the possible repercussions.
“Athletes are being quiet about this incident in fear of negative repercussions from the athletic department,” said one athlete, who asked to be left anonymous. “Although their information could be the difference between life and death to students with underlying health conditions.”
The article also states that disciplinary action against the students who attended the gatherings is being considered. No details about what consequences may occur are known at the moment.
Michaela Zabicki, a junior on the Women’s Field Hockey team, shared her concerns regarding the COVID-19 testing protocol on campus.
“As much as testing is inconvenient and sometimes painful, for only the athletes to be tested and then blamed for the whole student body when the majority of them were not tested, is just not fair to me,” Zabicki said. “If we are going to test people, all the students, staff, coaches, and administration should be tested as well if they are going to be coming onto campus and in contact with people.”
Sophomore and Women’s Ice Hockey Team Member, Megan Bouveur also shared suggestions she believes would help to improve the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines on campus.
One of her suggestions was that when athletes get tested, they should be placed in quarantine until they receive their results and only be released on the account that the test is negative.
Senior Emily Shoup is a student primarily at Brooklyn but commutes to the Post campus for her theatre classes. Due to classes being remote for this two-week period however, Shoup says that she does not need to travel between campuses, as she only must attend her classes in Brooklyn in-person.
Bouveur also shared similar sentiments to that of Zabicki in that she also believes that testing should be made more widely available to more students on campus.
“Even if they don't have symptoms, it may just be nice to be able to get tested, so you can be at more peace knowing. These are just a couple of ideas that could help,” Bouveur said.
Meanwhile, the two week period of remote classes and no athletic activity has proven to have both positive and negative effects on the student body.
For others like Senior Britney Caprio on the Post, the campus does not have much of a change in classes, as she was already remotely learning in the dorms prior to October 1, 2020, due to her concerns regarding COVID and the safety protocols on campus.s..y must attend her classes in Brooklyn in-person.
“I don’t have to worry about transportation to the other campus, so I get to save some money for a while,” Shoup said. “The downside though is that theatre is very hard to do over zoom, my classes at that campus are not really structured to be taught over zoom so it has been a bit of a struggle again to switch to remote learning.”
“My team has the mantra of persevering for this season and I feel it fits perfectly,” Bouveur said.s, as she was already remotely learning in the dorms prior to October 1, 2020 due to her concerns regarding COVID and the safety protocols on campus.
“I felt sort of a relief just that all of the people who had tested positive or came in contact with them were being quarantined and isolated,” Caprio said.
Similar to Caprio, Bouveur explained that besides athletics, this two week period does not have a large impact on her academically. “I wasn't really affected by my academics being remote as I only have one class in-person this semester, so it was nice that this was able to stay fairly normal for me,” Bouveur said.
While remote learning and not having practice has been disappointing to some, athletes like Zabicki have found ways to make the most of it. “I went home for the two weeks so I could be with my family and have more access to food and my own bed and freedom, so to speak. I can eat good home-cooked meals and sit somewhere else in my house and go to the bathroom without a mask,” Zabicki said.
From an athletics standpoint, Bouveur expanded on her sentiments regarding how this pandemic has affected her and her team.
“Being an ice hockey player and not being on the ice having team practices definitely is a difference from before the shutdown that we are facing,” Bouveur said. Despite these changes and the unpredictability of the virus, Bouveur and the rest of her team, “are definitely pushing through adversity with the uncertainties of COVID-19.”
“My team has the mantra of persevere for this season and I feel it fits perfectly,” Bouveur said.
While classes and athletic activities are soon to resume, students are looking to the remainder of the school year, with hopes that this shutdown will serve as a learning experience. Should students choose to return to the classrooms, in-person classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 2, while student-athletes will be able to return to practice on Nov. 9 at the discretion of their coaches.
“I’m just hoping that this will be a warning to everyone and that people really follow the rules the University has laid out so that we don’t have to go home again,” Shoup said.
Berthel also encouraged increased caution moving forward throughout the semester.
“Remain vigilant, renew your commitment to keeping yourself and our community safe, and act in a manner that demonstrates a genuine concern for your peers, your faculty, and your loved ones,” Berthel said.
For more information, see the university COVID-19 update page.