Sofia Abas – Say News – Posted: Apr 19, 2020
Seneca students are struggling to cope with impact of Covid-19 on several front, financially, psychologically and strategically.
How do students finish their semester when they can no longer physically attend class? The transition from in-class to online school can be particularly tough for Broadcast Journalism students who have to cope without access to the technical tools required to meet their learning objectives.
Premier Doug Ford shut down all high schools and elementary schools in Ontario at the beginning of the March break. The virus continued to spread, and universities and colleges soon followed suite, ultimately choosing to remain closed for the rest of the semester.
Before the coronavirus began to spread, Seneca students in the journalism and broadcasting department were looking forward to their internships during the second half of the semester. But now they too are cancelled, many of them say that they are worried about finding a job. They were relying on their internship program to get them one.
Seneca student Shikeab Soratgor says he was expecting to start his internship in April.
“I was looking forward to working at Global news, and since this was my last year I was hoping that this internship would get me a job or at least get my foot in the door. I’m a little worried now because this would have been a great opportunity for me.”
Many students were also worried about their upcoming assignments. The broadcasting department requires students to use equipment and editing software. For those who don’t have that at home, completing assignments is going to be difficult. The lack of in class communication from professors is also making it more difficult for students to handle their assignments.
Monica, another journalism student at Seneca college says she has been trying to adapt.
“I was trying to complete my assignments through Avid. It’s a software I needed to edit some footage for my editing class and I had to download Avid but it wasn’t working. So I’m trying to download Adobe Premiere now and I’m conferencing with my professors through Zoom and Skype for alternatives to my assignments. ”
Jonathan Singher from Seneca’s OPSEU union says students will have to get used to this kind of adjustment. Professors were given a week to revamp their assignments and in some cases the entire course outline.
“Because of the Coronavirus, professors were given a week to make adjustments to assignments and because of that we have to extend the deadline for school. Instead of ending April 6th we will now end the 17th. In many cases the assignments are meant to be easier for students and hopefully doable for them, however one week might not be enough time.”
The President Speaks
Seneca President, David Agnew says he sympathizes with the students. He says because of circumstances, Professors weren’t given enough time to make the necessary changes to assignments and because of Covid-19 students are going to be faced with all sorts of challenges now.
“Our main priority is making sure that everyone is safe and okay. The one thing that students are going to face as a challenge is communicating with professors, they might be used to communicating with their teachers and classmates to ask for help and now they can’t. They have to do online calls and schedule meetings to discuss assignments with students, so it presents a challenge. … We will get through this.”
Agnew says the summer semester is set to go online as well, as for how long this will be though… that’s yet to be determined.