As the school year continues while the COVID-19 pandemic looms, Griffons are hesitant to venture to on-campus events.
After going to a few events on campus, Missouri Western senior Tamara Booker has seen a noticeable decrease in student attendance at on-campus events, attributing it to COVID-19.
“Some students do have some form of an illness, such as autoimmune disease,” Booker said.
Autoimmune diseases affect the functionality of the immune system which can cause the system to fight healthy cells. This makes people who are immunocompromised easily susceptible to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control recommends those who are immunocompromised to social distance by staying at home.
Many students have elected to stay home from not only campus events but from classes, feeling they are not safe while COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States.
“If you are not right within, you cannot expect to be right on the outside,” Booker said.
Missouri Western senior Sonia Yang, who has attended many events on-campus, agrees that COVID-19 has put a damper on attendance.
“This year, there had to be less people because of social distancing,” Yang said.
However, COVID-19 might not be solely to blame for the lack of student involvement on campus. Yang mentions how she believes the lack of communication contributed to the decrease in attendance.
“The word was not given out the best,” Yang said.
Missouri Western has slowly begun phasing out the use of flyers and have been inactive on Snapchat, which are two places many students have learned about past events happening on campus.
Booker, who learns about events through social media and flyers in Blum, notes that the lack of awareness could play a part.
“Students are not aware of involvement on campus because it is not being published on social media as much as it should,” Booker said.
Additionally, many students do not know where to look for information on events. Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Hannah Piechowski emails weekly lists of important information every student at Missouri Western should know entitled The Griffon Post.
“This year, you mostly have to make sure to read emails,” Yang said.
On the Griffon Post, Piechowski lists all events happening both on campus and on Zoom, including locations for each event and Zoom links for online events. Many events at Missouri Western are held solely through Zoom. While most Missouri Western students are familiar with the app, some students dislike participating through Zoom.
“It is somewhat effective because certain students do check emails and others do not,” Booker said.
While there are many other factors in why student event attendance is decreasing, such as the decreased events taking place and the decreased population of students living on campus, COVID-19 continues to be the blame.