• By Alyssa L. Brennan

How COVID-19 has impacted CCU

Coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, is “not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Symptoms may include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and usually appear within two to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. It is recommended to stay home when you are sick, avoid unnecessary travel, not to touch your face, wash your hands often, and disinfect frequently touched objects, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coastal Carolina University remained vigilant in monitoring the spread of the virus in an attempt to keep students from catching it. Many education-abroad programs have been impacted by COVID-19 which has quickly spread across the world. On Feb.28, CCU’s Office of University Marketing and Communication sent out an email that urged students in Italy to return and said that the spring break education-abroad trip to the Philippines was canceled.

On March 2, more updates were sent out to students that said, “Effective immediately, all CCU travel abroad trips that have not already departed are canceled until further notice. This affects a few different University-sponsored education abroad programs, a program sponsored by CCU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and individual faculty travel.” Then on March 11 another email went out that said all University-sponsored travel, domestic and international, was canceled and spring break would be extended to March 20 and classes would resume on March 23. The university originally planned for students to be able to return to campus to finish out the semester, but on March 19, it was decided that classes will take place online for the rest of the semester.

“Teal nation: Earlier this afternoon, Governor Henry McMaster updated his charge to colleges and universities concerning operations in the wake of COVID-19. This new directive will result in several changes for Coastal Carolina University. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, CCU classes will take place online and classwork will remain online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Students are directed to CCU’s Academic Continuity Plan for guidance on the completion of coursework,” President David DeCenzo said in the email.

As part of the academic continuity plan, there are still free resources available to students such as Ally, Kimbel library distance learning services, MERLOT and VitalSource.

Originally, CCU had planned to cancel the traditional graduation ceremony and have a virtual one. This led to the seniors starting a petition to postpone instead of canceling the ceremony which got 1,5oo signatures in one day, according to ABC 15 News. On the CCU website, DeCenzo has updated information regarding graduation for Spring 2020.

“As President, I was looking forward to spending my final spring commencement with the class of 2020; watching all of you cross the stage and shaking your hands in congratulations. While I may no longer get the opportunity to celebrate with you in person during the spring, I hope you will join the University as we identify ways to celebrate your graduation. We will be inviting spring 2020 graduates to participate in the summer 2020 or winter 2020 ceremonies on campus,” DeCenzo said on the website. “Once the threat of COVID-19 is eliminated, CCU will be able to provide updated information on future ceremonies for spring 2020 graduates on the commencement website.”

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