COVID-19 tests Park’s ability to adapt

Skyler Jensen, Reporter

PARKVILLE, MO. – Millions of people have had to adjust their lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Park University family is no different.

Professors have faced many new transitions due to COVID-19. For faculty like Kristin Shaw, a communication instructor, the campus feels empty.

“Part of what’s been so hard about this year is that so many of our rhythms and routines just aren’t there anymore,” Shaw said.

New routines have had to be found with the transition to online schooling. It’s more difficult for teachers to give their best to their students, said Shaw. She added that there are some benefits to online learning, but it’s harder to establish rapport and relationships with students online.

However, even those new to Park University are noticing the changes. Freshmen students have also felt the effects of the pandemic.

“It’s harder to interact with fellow classmates and form that bond,” said Anna Bair, a freshman biology major. She also said it has been harder for new students to make friends and to get the full college experience outside of classes.

In acknowledgement of these struggles, most student organizations are still trying to engage students said Mya Lawrence, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership.

“The challenge has been that all of our students aren’t local anymore,” said Lawrence.

Student organizations are still setting up events, but unless it is virtual then nonlocal students cannot attend. However, virtual events are allowing nonlocal students to tap into events that they might not have been able to before the pandemic, she added.

Students can find upcoming events and be more engaged with student organizations by logging into Crew, looking into Park University’s and Park University Student Life’s social media platforms, or by checking the university calendar for events, Lawrence added.