By: Bailey Hendricks, Editor-in-Chief, and Sophia Bates, Assistant News Editor
Towson University is suspending all study abroad programs for spring break 2020 and the summer 2020 term, according to a campus-wide email sent out on March 3.
Also, as of Feb. 26, Towson University, along with the University of Maryland, recalled all faculty, staff and students who are currently studying abroad in Italy, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded Italy to a Level 3 Warning – Avoid All Nonessential Travel in response to Coronavirus, according to a campus-wide email sent from TU Communications.
Nine TU students were recalled from Italy and will self quarantine and not return to campus, “in an abundance of caution,” the email read.
“I think it’s very smart for Towson to not have them come to campus,” senior Aaron Kaplan said. “I think it’s best for them to be here [United States] right now because of all the stuff we are hearing in the news about how fast the outbreak is spreading in Italy and how it’s better controlled, as of now, over here.”
While there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Maryland, in their email, Towson University said they are “taking all necessary precautions to provide for the health and safety of our students abroad and to allow for the continuation of academic programming in case of possible temporary closures.”
“All TU Study Abroad students will be fully supported by the Office of the Provost to ensure the completion of their coursework of study,” TU Communications said.
“When reading the email that Towson sent out, I can understand both sides about this issue,” junior Meredith Matz said. “It stinks for the students who were planning on going to Italy because they won’t get to experience it, but I get that the university wants to look out for their health and well-being. It stinks that students are robbed of this opportunity, but it is for their wellness, so I can understand that. I feel like Towson is taking good cautionary measures. A girl I knew from high school had to cancel her Italy trip due to this, but she knew it was for the sake of her health. It is overall a sucky situation.”
“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our primary concern,” TU Communications said. ”We know that the outbreak and spread of coronavirus is concerning to all members of the Towson University community both at home and abroad.”
For updates on all travel advisories issued by the CDC, visit https://wwwnc/cdc/travel/notices.
This story was updated on March 3. The Towerlight will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.