Decisions regarding the prevention of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and the continuation of in-person classes differ between Elon University’s Study USA programs.
According to Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, which partners with Elon’s Study USA program, classes are canceled until March 17, and online instruction will take place from March 19 to April 3. However, the 24 students in Los Angeles will continue in-person classes.
Both California and New York have declared a state of emergency. There were 216 cases in New York and 191 in California, as of Wednesday, March 11.
“As the reach and impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, the University is prepared to adjust where appropriate” wrote Shanna Van Beek, communications manager of global education, in an email. “In all decisions, the health and safety of the Elon community is the top priority.”
Marymount Manhattan College made the decision to transition classes online on Wednesday, March 11 — the same day Elon University moved post-spring break classes online.
Elon students participating in the New York program study live in Marymount and are thus subject to its policies. The college is also enforcing a policy that suspends all visitation and guests for its students.
At first, junior Trent Dodson, who is currently spending the semester in New York, wasn’t phased by the Marymount’s decision.
“At first, I was like ‘Oh, I don't have to commute. It will be fine, I’ll just do it online,’” Dodson said. “Then I went to campus today and I realized how disorganized the school was in terms of not knowing what’s about to happen next and that’s when I got worried.”
Marymount Manhattan College’s Dean of Students Emmalyn Yamrick and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Graham Ciraulo have not responded to Elon News Network’s phone and email requests for comments.
Elon University has not made the decision to move LA classes online. According to Jason McMerty, director of Elon in LA, the program is more internship-focused. In general, students only take classes two days a week, spending most of their time at their internships.
Junior Cameron Wolfslayer is studying in Los Angeles and said the decision to keep in-person classes was expected. Wolfslayer also said her internship may be terminated and will be notified of that decision this week.
“If your internship site decides to have remote work or terminates your internship, we will accommodate all reasonable situations for the semester,” McMerty wrote in an email to Elon in LA students.
According to Van Beek, the other Study USA programs in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are inactive this semester.