Towson University will not force exams to be online as they give professors choice of modality

By: Jake Shindel, Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Jake Shindel

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise on Towson University’s (TU) campus, some students are unhappy that final exams are still being held in-person.

Towson University’s provost, Melanie Perreault, sent out an email on Dec. 16 to all students, faculty and staff saying that exams will continue to be held in person, but that professors can have them online if they prefer. 

“At this time, while faculty have the authority to adjust the modality for final exams, there are no university-wide plans to shift all academic programming or exams to a remote modality,” Perreault said in the email. 

TU’s positivity rate increased from 2.4% Nov. 25 to Dec. 8 to 6.5% from Dec. 2-15, according to data published on Towson’s website. The increase in positivity rate is happening as the semester is ending, when lots of students and faculty will go home for winter break.

From Nov. 25 to Dec. 8, 51 people tested positive. From Dec. 2-15, there were 170 positive tests. In addition, the percentage of quarantine/isolation beds available on campus decreased from 98.8% on Dec. 8 to 22% on Dec. 16.

“We as students are scared that we won’t be able to spend the holidays with our families,” said sophomore Anna Romenskaya. “It would be the best decision to make all final exams online.”

Sophomore Sophia Ruschaupt shares those concerns as well.

“It is very concerning, just because COVID spreads so quickly and we are all about to return home to our families for the holidays,” Ruschaupt said. “This rise in cases is a health risk for everyone.”

Sophomore Isabella Mooney talked about having to go to classes with lots of students in them as COVID-19 cases are rising.

“With the recent rise in COVID cases, I’m not thrilled about going to classes,” Mooney said. “My geology class has like 70 people in it and we all had to sit next to each other for almost two hours to do an exam.”

Exams will still be up to the professors’ discretion, but Perreault announced some changes to events on campus. 

“Additionally, all non-academic and non-essential indoor events through the end of December that involve food and drink are now canceled,” the email read. “Large events of over 750 attendees will be limited to 50 percent of capacity.” 

TU junior Alonso Granda said that while he is not too worried about the rise in cases, he understands people’s concerns. 

“I don’t feel threatened from it but I have heard of people being really scared since everyone is going home for the break,” Granda said. Switching exams to online might be the best way to eliminate any chances of a new spread. It’s almost like, ‘Why not pick the safest choice?'”
To stay up to date with Towson’s COVID-19 data, visit their website.

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