The Weekly Briefing gives a small look into the stories The Forum has covered in the past week. This week, we covered the developments of COVID-19 in the state and on campus, how art students are staying productive whilst quarantine and graduating seniors preparing to enter a possible economic recession.
Yoga provides students stress relief
Westminster College students are continuing their practice of yoga during the stay-at-home COVID-19 quarantine to release stressful energies through breathing exercises and active workouts.
Hailey Brookins, a junior majoring in environmental studies, participates in yoga through classes at the Health, Wellness and Athletic Center for recreational purposes.
”There is so much craziness and it’s a time when you are just with yourself and you literally don’t think about anything other than your breath, your body and how you are feeling,” Brookins said. “It’s such an important reflection time.”
Art students take extra time for their work
With Westminster College currently being fully online, art students are taking extra time to perfect their work and come together in the community by communicating online and praising other classmates’ artwork.
Harris Wright is a senior art student graduating in December who runs an unofficial art club called Westminster Art Crowd.
“When I talk to people in my club they are all saying how much time they have now to work on personal things,” Wright said.
Administration eases student concerns in virtual forum
Westminster College President Beth Dobkin addressed COVID-19 concerns Tuesday through an open student forum on Microsoft Teams.
Dobkin, along with other staff, discussed topics related to COVID-19 with undergraduate and graduate students. Among the topics discussed were the college’s plans for managing courses and timelines for returning to normal campus operations.
Students voiced their concerns about the level of preparation for long-term online learning. Dobkin said with the help of Canvas and the teachers, Westminster was much more prepared than other colleges of a similar size.
Westminster scholars recognized by National Science Foundation
Six students from Westminster College were awarded fellowships and honorable mentions from the National Science Foundation, providing opportunities for international research and professional development. It also paves the way for students to conduct research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education that they choose.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program will provide the three awardees with a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 — along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance that can be used for tuition and fees — to conduct their research projects.
Graduating seniors brace to enter workforce amid possible economic recession
Orders to stay at home and the closure of all “non-essential businesses” have halted the U.S. economy, concerning some graduating seniors about to enter the workforce.
With that, the demand for new employees has vanished for the time being — creating a complicated situation for soon-to-be college graduates. Others fear the uncertainty of not knowing where they will be two months from now, after finishing college and unsure of job prospects.
Senior student-athletes wrestle with decision to return for final season
After a major shutdown of all spring sport events and a cancellation of the duration of the season, the NCAA Division I Council announced it would allow schools to provide student-athletes an additional season of eligibility for competition. This applies to all spring student-athletes who have had their season cut short, including those who are graduating in May.
For Cassie Campos, a student-athlete who will graduate in May from Westminster College, the decision on whether to continue her education in order to get an extra season to play is something she’s still considering.
Updates on COVID-19 in the state
The first confirmed case in Utah was reported March 6 in Davis County, after it’s believed the patient was exposed while on a cruise aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship. The first community-spread case — meaning the patient had not traveled outside the country or been in contact with anyone who had — was confirmed March 14 in Summit County.
Since then, the number of cases in the state has been growing — along with the hospitalization cases.
Here’s a timeline of the outbreak in Utah so far.