Students, faculty learn to live with accessibility issues, look forward to spring semester

As the fall 2020 semester draws to a close the Grambling community is collectively longing for normality. 

Mass Communication Undergraduate Coordinator Marjorie Newman said she misses in-class instruction. 

“You can't feel their energy, we need to have human interaction,” Newman said. 

Many in the Grambling community report being in Newman’s camp and prefer being in the classroom with students physically and instead being stuck behind computer screens. Some mass communication majors have reported the temporary changes in instruction have made completing coursework more challenging due to limited access. 

Although many classes are virtual and students are provided the opportunity to take an entirely online schedule, students who stay on campus have hybrid classes as well. 

Those who need to use the computer labs in Washington-Johnson Complex have noted their frustration as open access to computer labs is unavailable due to the pandemic. 

Some students who need to use costly software as part of their coursework, such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Final Cut Pro, do not have access to those programs at home which causes a conflict with their school work. 

Graduating senior Olivia Fletcher said the limited access has made for a difficult final semester. 

“We mostly do our work in the lab such as editing videos or anything in that matter,” Fletcher said. “And it’s really hard for us students to find a computer to do our work on that has the exact same programs that the lab computers have.” 

The Washington-Johnson Complex itself was also adapted for expanded use in the current semester. The second floor of the building houses the Department of Mass Communication. 

With the cafeteria undergoing renovations, food service was temporarily relocated on the first floor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

“I know this is temporary and I think it is great that there are updates to the cafeteria and having the cafe on the first floor gives me the opportunity to see students because I am in my office most of the day and even though I see my students virtually it is different,” Newman said.   

Newman said the student body can be looking forward to new features and updates around campus coming in the spring semester of 2021.