CUH Community Adapts to Covid-19 Changes


Sofia Vela

Recreating a productive workspace at home can make or break motivation during this time of online-classes and social distancing.

Since the official suspension of face-to-face classes on March 16 due to a campus member being exposed to an individual who tested positive for Covid-19, the Chaminade University of Honolulu community has been forced to adapt to a distance-learning format, and all large campus events have been canceled or rescheduled. This sudden change has affected everyone differently. 

It took Chaminade student Rianne Sanchez a few days to recover from the initial funk that came as a result of the new distance-learning format, since this second-year Elementary Education major would much rather be going to classes than be cooped up in her dorm room.

“I had no reason to leave my room to go to class, they’re canceling the musical, I felt like my life was purposeless,” she said of her reaction after reading that classes would be moved online. “I was having a little 10-hour self-pity party.” 

Unlike most of her roommates who have gone home, Sanchez has yet to return to her home in Arcadia, Calif., because she finds traveling far too risky. However, Sanchez now admits that she is getting used to her leisurely schedule. In fact, the self-proclaimed workaholic says she likes how stress-free and simple life has become.

With the mandatory cancelation of class field trips and projects that require in-person interaction, Sanchez has instead been joining Zoom calls for some classes and watches a good amount of documentaries for others. Although many of her classes transitioned fairly smoothly to an online format, many teachers are still struggling to find a way to meet class objectives without access to equipment that is primarily located in their classrooms.  

Communications professor Tom Galli considers himself “screwed” in terms of moving his classes online. As a video and studio production teacher, his goal is to familiarize his students with high-end equipment (heavyweight video cameras and tripods). But without access to said equipment, there is only so much Galli can transfer to an online classroom. 

“I think it’s sad because it’s an opportunity lost from the students’ perspective,” Galli said. “Because I mean some of these guys will never set foot in a T.V. studio again. … This 15 weeks was a really nice opportunity, and they lost half of it.” 

Just as some are taking a bit longer to adapt to the online shift, others are hardly affected and have carried on with ease. 

Other than deciding whether to stay in Hawaii or fly to his family in San Jose, Nate Pickett said he can hardly complain about the incorporation of distance-learning. Rather than being on such a tight schedule, the first-year Business major enjoys having more time to do homework. As for his everyday life, Pickett is getting bored of his frequently played video games and misses having company at his apartment, as well as going out with friends. 

The switch from face-to-face to online classes has affected academic life for every Silversword in one way or another. But the canceling and rescheduling of large events has uniquely affected life within the Chaminade athletic department, graduating seniors, and campus ministry.

On March 16, the PacWest Conference canceled the remainder of conference competition and championships, as well as all athletics-related activities through the end of the spring national championships. 

After the switch, Karyna Baldomino returned to her home in Diamond Bar, Calif., and said that finishing her junior year online is sad. She considers Chaminade to be her home away from home, so being taken away from her life in Hawaii has seemingly put her time to grow independently on pause. Besides missing her roommate, friends, and routine, Baldimono considers ending her softball season early to be one of the hardest aspects of the school’s enforcement of social distancing. Especially because this was her last year on the team, as much of her senior year as an Elementary Education major will consist of student teaching. 

“I think it goes for all the athletes across the world,” Baldomino said. “It really sucks. There’s this saying that a lot of athletes live by, ‘Play the game you’re playing like it’s the last game you’ll ever play.’ I feel like some people try to live by that and others think they have time. This whole situation just proves that you really never know when your last game will be.” 

On March 20, President Lynn Babington announced in an email that commencement, along with the baccalaureate mass and honors ceremony, would be postponed with plans to re-schedule the events for December.

Graduating senior Hoano Rosario found difficulty in accepting the fact that graduation would be  postponed because, unlike the seniors who live on the island as he does, some 2020 graduates will be unable to return to Honolulu for the rescheduled ceremony. However, Rosario said he is grateful that graduation will eventually happen, as opposed to being canceled altogether, because he has worked hard to earn a degree in both Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. But as far as distance-learning goes, Rosario expressed relief toward being done with on-campus parking and 8:30 a.m. classes.   

As for Campus Ministry, its events have either been canceled or moved online. Text @cuhmin to 81010 to receive immediate reminders and notifications on upcoming Campus Ministry events. These messages will include links to stream masses online and Zoom codes to join their weekly Monday meetings.