The coronavirus pandemic is affecting Maryville College Commuters

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world and how the Maryville College campus is run. With so many changes on campus, many students are finally adjusting.

Maryville College is one of the few colleges that chose to go back in person this fall semester. Since March, when classes were moved online, Maryville College has done everything possible to help students while online and now on campus. 

However, commuters have some frustrations when it comes to being on campus. There are only a few places on campus that commuters can go when sitting in between classes, doing homework, or just needing a place to sit and think. 

Laura Palmer, a senior commuter said, “I know there are the chairs in Clayton, but it is so quiet it would be very distracting to attend a Zoom call in there.”

The Clayton Center for the Arts has chairs and tables placed in the foyer with social distancing in mind, but it is not a reliable place to take a Zoom call or be in lecture. It is distracting to Clayton’s workers and students do not have enough space to take notes. 

There are no convenient places for commuters to sit on campus to be able to take a Zoom class without disturbing other students. 

“The only places on campus available are located outside which will not be usable once the weather changes and it becomes too cold for sitting outside,” said junior commuter student Caroline Moss.

Some commuter students have had to move or drop classes to ensure they can be on campus for classes or via Zoom at home and some are having to go home in between classes because there are so few places on campus to attend online class. 

 “Due to the lack of places for me to study, I try to go home when possible although that it is not always possible with my class schedule,” Moss said.

This is especially hard for Freshman commuter students. 

 “I am lucky to have close connections with professors and I have their support,” Palmer said. “Freshman have yet to be able to make those connections, so it is especially hard for them.”

Professors have tried their hardest to be accommodating during this time. With most classes being hybrid model, professors are trying to be more up front and let students know when they will be in class or via Zoom. 

With many concerns voiced by the commuting student body, administration has stepped up to be proactive, and has been discussing more options on campus. 

 “We are working on pulling together spaces, empty classroom lists, Library places,” said Kristen Gourley, Assistant Dean of students.

Gourley also stated the Student Government Association (SGA) has had discussions based on what commuter students’ concerns are and what exactly needs to change for students’ issues to be fixed. 

Not knowing what the next day brings, administration is fixing problems and concerns as things happen. There are a lot of components they must consider like social distancing and capacity rules. 

Administration is doing everything in their power to get these things done quick so that commuter students will have access to everything they need while on campus.

If you have any questions or concerns contact Haley Davis ([email protected]), SGA President, SGA has Commuter representatives and senators to voice any concerns. 

One thought on “The coronavirus pandemic is affecting Maryville College Commuters

  • September 21, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I want to affirm that the library is open for commuters to use for studying, online classes, and a place to be between other events while on campus.

    In response to student needs, the library is moving to three longer study sessions a day – 9 am – 12:30 pm, 1 to 4:30 pm, and 6 to 8 pm – to better match class schedules. We hope this makes it easier for students to study between in-person classes and to attend online classes from library space.

    We fully support students using library space to participate in online classes and meetings. The library has 25 large 6 foot x 4 foot work tables, and students can choose to have a table to themselves or share it with one other person. There are also 10 computer work stations equipped with zoom, Microsoft teams, cameras, speakers, and mics to support online classes. If you need to talk to others or videoconference to participate in class or do your school work, that is fine. Using headsets or ear buds can reduce distraction from multiple people talking and listening at once.


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