Canceled on-campus lectures disrupt spring semester for college students amid coronavirus outbreak

He is a sophomore at the University of Illinois, but for the rest of this semester, college for Tyler Gorski will be his laptop on the dining room table.

It's not what he signed up for.

"I'm in the middle of a tough semester right now, and I really take advantage of office hours to ask questions in-person," said Gorski.

His sister is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, which announced Tuesday that they will join other college campuses who will finish the semester with on-line learning. She is also not looking forward to it.

"I'm more old-fashioned, Amanda Gorski said. "I prefer visual learning and explanations. I still take notes in my notebook."

This is the reality of many college students' 2020 spring semesters across the county.

While the on-campus experience is full of friends and fun for many, in the coronavirus age, it's also dangerous. That's why schools are shutting down.

The school closures means graduation plans for students, like Steven Fischer at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, will likely be changing.

"In May I was supposed to go to their campus in New Mexico to take a class, but the probably won't happen now and I probably won't graduate early," Fischer said.

His mother is just glad Fischer and his freshman brother are safe at home.

"I was happy to have them back, but certainly upset about this whole thing," said Jo Fischer.

For other students, the sudden end of on-campus activities means more than just classes.

Kathy Pritchett's freshman daughter, Maria, is missing the Division 3 National Swimming Championships this weekend.

"That would've started [Tuesday], but it's cancelled," she said. "So the season ends abruptly."

For many parents working to put their kids through college, this is not what they were expecting.

"What can you do about it, you have step back a little bit," Pritchett said.

While many schools have already announced they are closing their campuses for the rest of the semester, others are still in the process of deciding. Many of the students ABC7 Chicago spoke to believe it's inevitable, whether they like it or not.
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