It started with two weeks of online classes. Next, the Intramural Center and Wells Library closed. The semester was moved online and Little 500 was canceled. Soon, commencement was postponed and campus buildings were closed.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has upheaved our semester, our academic and social lives, and our "lasts" and "finals."
I’m a senior, and I’m grieving. We were supposed to wait in line to take cap and gown photos in front of the Sample Gates. We were supposed to eat our favorite on-campus snack and stroll through Dunn Woods one last time. We are the first to graduate in IU’s third century, and we don’t get to celebrate that together.
I’m grieving for the freshmen who don’t get to walk through the Old Crescent in the spring. I’m grieving for juniors whose semesters abroad were cut short and sophomores whose first experiences of living on their own was interrupted.
When I was elected student body president in April 2019, I thought I knew what a Hoosier was. However, these last three weeks, have taught me more about our IU community than my 11 months in office, and that gives me hope.
Being a Hoosier is helping to combat food insecurity in Monroe County. It’s IU Student Government’s $100,000 donation to Crimson Cupboard and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. It’s returning to our permanent homes, doing our part to flatten the curve.
It’s when we take Gov. Holcomb’s stay-at-home order seriously by minimizing contact with others and encouraging our friends to do the same. Being a Hoosier is hanging out with your friends over Zoom, instead of the front lawn.
Your student leaders are still leading. Your university leaders are still issuing guidance. Your faculty know this is hard. We’re proving that compassion and perseverance overcome fear and panic. We’ll learn how to raise our hands on Zoom and relearn how to do homework at our family dining room table. We’ll adapt.
So, Hoosiers, stay kind. Wash your hands. Lean on your student leaders and reach out to us when you’re struggling, because we’re here for you.
Student Body President, IU Student Government