The day Mines stood still: Oredigger stories of the pandemic

Friday the 13th of March, 2020. This may be the first time in my life that the day lived up to its reputation. Yesterday President Johnson sent out a campus-wide email announcing that all class meetings next week will be cancelled and that all education will be delivered online starting on the 30th.

Walking around campus feels like floating through purgatory. In my walk from A-Lot to the Student Center, I see freshmen loading cars. Huh, I don’t think I’ve seen that outside of move-in and finals week. I hear an eerie mix of morbid jokes about the COVID-19 outbreak and genuine, heart-felt final goodbyes in the conversations on the pedestrian plaza. 

Off to meeting number one of the day: figuring out how Blue Key will function for the rest of the semester: How should our membership requirements work? Does this fit our by-laws? Let’s add an “acts of God” revision to the by-laws. Can we initiate new members? Probably not in person. Clarification sent out later tonight by SAIL will let us know that we will not have any in-person meetings for the foreseeable future.

Let’s go to class. It’s a strange mix of urgency in understanding the logistics of online teaching and sincerity of seeing students face-to-face for the last time. My professor has not used Canvas in his previous 20+ years at Mines, so I guess it’s time to learn.

Time to run to the machine shop; the blast sent out by the senior design professors was not super clear about whether the shop would be open after today, so we need to work now. Our senior design competition may be suspended, but we’ve put too much time in to stop now. Franticly drilling, cutting, and welding may not have been the best way to go, but it got the job done.

And…. That’s it? That’s the last day of my undergraduate time on campus at Mines? It seems a bit unceremonious for three and three-quarter years of commitment, involvement, and hard work to end so abruptly and with such uncertainty. But that is simply the way it has to be when the World Health Organization declares a pandemic. Safety and health is paramount. All else is secondary. Rightly so.

That does not diminish the heartbreak and disappointment that many of us felt. Last weekend I reached out to students who wished to share how they have been affected by cancellations, and heard from many people who had plans blow up in their face. 

To state the obvious, things happened very quickly. The first campus-wide email blast was sent on February 27th, simply answering some frequently asked questions. The following day the university discouraged travel from China and South Korea. The administration continued planning and provided updates. Then at 7:55 in the morning on  March 11th, the travel restrictions hit.

“All university-affiliated international travel is suspended until further notice.” With that email, the hard work of many Orediggers went up in smoke. “The news was shocking,” said Kayla Hubbard, a senior in environmental engineering. “We all pour so much into our education that it’s heartbreaking to have it torn away right when we’re all starting to bring ourselves to closure.” Hubbard is on the Engineering for Communities Design Studio team for Senior Design, and was set to catch a flight to Nepal to implement her project two days after the email was sent out. “My team had raised almost $25k to support our travel to Khumbu Valley, Nepal, prototype a sustainable water filter, deliver it to the communities, and gather input while we were there,” said Hubbard. Her team is trying their best to potentially reschedule, or deliver the treatment system some other way, but it’s impossible to plan with the current state of the world. “My heart really goes out to all the seniors who worked so hard on their projects,” said Hubbard.  “I hope we all get a chance to showcase our designs and applaud each other’s accomplishments.”

Between 7:55 in the morning and 5:34 at night, a surprising amount had changed. More cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Colorado, Governor Polis issued a press conference, and the World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic: “Effective March 30, 2020, Colorado School of Mines will transition to online delivery for all of our courses for the remainder of the semester.” At this point, clubs and organizations had not officially suspended their meetings, but the writing was on the wall. That announcement would be made on Friday. 

“Overall I would say myself and everyone that I know is extremely overwhelmed,” said Desmond Mills, a Junior in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. “From a student perspective, having your classes cancelled and having your clubs and organizations no longer meet, a lot of those are quintessential to my identity.” Along with the logistical challenges of learning online, many are finding it difficult to make ends meet financially. “I’d say the biggest obstacle in terms of the COVID-19 response is [that] I no longer have an ability to work,” said Mills. “I was initially hoping to save up some money to have an opportunity at Brown University, but it’s kind of up in the air whether or not I’m going to go and now, at the same time, even if I could go I wouldn’t be able to afford it necessarily.” The decision of whether or not to go home to Utah has been filled with “what-ifs”, and there is still a lot of uncertainty in the future. “You’ve just got to stick to it, and keep strong, and be as independent as you can,” said Mills. “But also rely on all of those that you love, and the ones that love you.”

For most Mines students, the ‘word of the week’ has been uncertainty. Nobody knows how long this will last, what it will impact, or what it means for our education. “I have a job lined up for after graduation, but haven’t taken field session,” said Sara Stonebreaker, a graduating senior in Chemical Engineering. “Since we don’t know what will happen, and we aren’t allowed to graduate without field session, many people are concerned about losing their job offers.” Along with employment anxiety, a ton of Mines students don’t know exactly what the next few months of the semester should look like for them. “I also happen to be [an] out of state [student], but haven’t been given much guidance on if I should stay in Colorado or go back to Wisconsin,” said Stonebreaker. “I’ve decided to split the time, mainly because abruptly saying goodbye to everyone has been really difficult.” Stonebreaker echoed a lot of what I had been hearing all over campus these last few days. “I want to go back to class, I want to have E-Days and graduation and field session. I want to see my friends and say proper goodbyes,” said Stonebreaker. “But this time isn’t about what any one person wants and I hope we can all recognize that and we need to support each other near or far.”

Far from Golden, student-athletes from three of Mines’ winter teams were getting ready to compete. Oredigger wrestlers, track and field athletes, and swimmers were preparing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Birmingham, Alabama, and Geneva, Ohio respectively when the NCAA announced that all winter and spring championships were cancelled effective on the 12th. “We were finishing up our warmups the day before the meet when we got the news that everything was canceled,” said Hayden Sather, a senior track athlete. “We were rated 2nd in the nation as a team, and we had multiple people on the team who were seeded to win their event and/or be an All-American.” Just the day before, NBA had suspended play, and to Sather it seemed like the NCAA had simply followed suit instead of making a rational decision. “Every athlete had already spent two days in the facility training before nationals – breathing the same air, touching the same surfaces, and contacting each other. If something was going to be spread, it had all already been done,” said Sather “The following two days of competition would not have likely caused a single more case.” Sather was still understanding of the necessity of a response. “I understand that ultimately we should be acting to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Sather, “but the overblown reaction to this causes problems in communities that many people may not even think about.”

Senior swimmer Mia Wood faced a similar situation in the pool. “I was heartbroken as soon as I heard the news,” said Wood. “ I was getting ready to go swim in the finals of an event in which I was the top seed, and my best event was the very next day.” Wood acknowledged the importance of protecting the public in the decision-making process of the NCAA. She also applauded the Mines Athletics Department for their response to the whole situation. “People have been so understanding of each other, and it’s really cool to see that kind of behavior,” said Wood. “Plus, our coach and athletic director were incredible about handling the situation with such extreme circumstances.”

It only took a few more hours for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference to suspend all play through April 6th. “When I heard the rumors that we might not be able to travel out of state for competitions, I brushed it off,” said Sydney Marchando, a junior softball player. “There were plenty of nearby schools to play, and I figured not much would change. When the rumors started, I turned to my teammates who were experiencing the same emotions and going through the same hardship I was… One of my teammates reminded us to stay in shape in case we did get to play on the 6th and we all held out hope.“ About 24 hours later, the conference cancelled the entire spring season. “My heart breaks for the students who were already at their national tournaments, forced to return home before they had a chance to finish what they started two, three, four, five years ago when they walked in the doors at Mines and universities across the country,” said Marchando. “It breaks for the students who stepped on the field, court, mat, and pool for the last time without even knowing it.“ Some things are bigger than sports, but that doesn’t make things any easier for the student-athletes who have poured their heart and soul into competing, only to have their passion stripped away. “The thought of losing nearly an entire season seemed unfathomable only days ago,” said Marchando, “and yet here we are.”

When the announcement was first made that Mines would be transitioning online, it was understood that on-campus accommodations would still be made available for those who choose to stay. That changed on Friday, when an email blast citing public health standards set by Governor Polis was sent to students living on campus to leave by March 30th “if possible.” For everyone living in residence halls, Mines Park, and Fraternity and Sorority housing, that came as a bit of a shock. Gibson Stone is a senior in Sigma Kappa, and because of these changes her sorority had to move up their alumnae initiation ceremony to Sunday the 15th. “Several seniors as well as other members can’t attend because they’ve already gone home or they don’t feel it’s healthy for them to be out in public,” said Stone. “Formally ending my time as a collegiate member is bittersweet, and while I’m grateful for the opportunity to still take part in this aspect of our ritual it’s much earlier than I was ready for.” The transition from student to alumni can be emotional, but especially when it comes almost two full months before you expect it. “I definitely think the campus administration is doing the right thing, and I know students that are at a greater health risk that are so grateful for the switch to online classes,” said Stone. “It just feels like taking a crash course in the emotions of senior year. Also, shameless plug for social distancing and flattening the curve!”

Over in Mines Park, Madison Anderson, a senior in Civil Engineering, is preparing to move out. Anderson had a pretty eventful past few days, but is remaining positive. “I had plans for spring break to go to Colombia for senior design,” said Anderson. “Obviously those got cancelled, and then the [ASCE regional] conference is now going onto a virtual format. It’s been crazy to say the least. Also getting kicked out of Mines Park, but you know; you adapt and overcome!” Anderson, along with Maddy Caviness, was one of the coordinators of this year’s American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Regional Conference that was originally set to happen the week following spring break. A little over a week ago, a few of the Utah universities pulled out of the competition, but on Thursday the decision had been made to cancel all in-person activities associated with the conference. “There has been a lot of frustration, and there have been tears along the way too,” said Anderson. “Because we were holding out hope, I think.” Their contacts at Mines Event Planning had given them the ‘okay’ to keep the conference as planned earlier that week. “It felt like all of this time and energy that we had put into it  was basically for nothing, which is not the case,” said Anderson. “ There’s still going to be some element to it, but we were going to have a damn good conference.” The concrete canoe race, sand castle competition, lawn games, and interaction with students from the other schools in the region is going to be missing, and, since the national competition has been cancelled, the winner will not have a next round to move on to. Since our interview, the ASCE regional conference has been canceled entirely. But Anderson still has a positive outlook. “I know there’s a lot of uncertainty associated with [the virus], and with that there’s a lot of frustration and emotions, and there are effects of social distancing, and quarantining yourselves,” said Anderson. “ There are resources out there for people that can talk through these emotions. The Colorado Crisis service is one of those resources. We just need to come together and support each other at this time, rather than getting at each other’s throats with frustration. It’s just coming together as a community… There is that support system there, we just need to lean on it and find it in different ways. Through Zoom, texting, or whatever technology that allows for social interaction with that social distancing.”

First-year students have also started frantically arranging to move out of residence halls as a result of the new housing policy. Sophia Fausy, a freshman in Computer Science, was originally planning on staying in Golden this summer to take classes online and move into a house from the residence halls. “It just makes everything a lot more difficult,” said Fausy. “I have to move everything to a storage unit when I was planning on taking summer classes and moving straight into my house.” Fausy tried to communicate her situation to the Residence Life staff, but her request fell on deaf ears. Her sister recently arrived back home to the Chicago area from Spain and is already exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. But with no other place to go once Randall Hall shuts down, Fausy has opted for a one-way flight to O’Hare. “So now I’m probably gonna get it anyway,” said Fausy. “They’re [Mines Residence Life] so difficult to deal with I’m just gonna go with it. I’ve accepted my fate.” 

I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the series of events that happened last week. It seems like every student at Mines is losing something: a choir trip to Spain, a chance to compete on the national stage, seeing a project come to fruition, a safe place to stay, a feeling of satisfaction of finishing senior year, a sense of certainty for the future. Ultimately many Mines students feel like they have lost a community, but we can keep our community as tight knit as it has been, albeit it at a safe distance. While it may seem like everything we’ve worked so hard for is falling apart, we need to keep climbing together. This is bigger than us, and we can do our part now to make this world a better place. 


Note: The following are the full comments from those quoted in this article. Interviews were done electronically in accordance with the current Mines policy. 

Kayla Hubbard (Senior Environmental Engineering Major)

The news was shocking. We all pour so much into our education that it’s heartbreaking to have it torn away right when we’re all starting to bring ourselves to closure. I’m a part of the Engineering for Communities Design Studio and am working on the Nepal water treatment/delivery project. My teammate and I got the message saying that all school travel had been halted and we would be switching to online classes two days before we were supposed to get on a plane to Nepal. Obviously this was devastating on so many levels for us. My team had raised almost $25K to support our travel to the Khumbu Valley, Nepal, prototype a sustainable water filter, deliver it to the communities, and gather input while we were there. We put so much of our hearts into designing for these communities that it was heartbreaking to know that we weren’t going to be able to deliver this technology to them.

So it’s really hard. This trip was something we’ve been looking forward to for a while, so obviously it’s very disappointing. Now that it’s been a few days, I do think that communities (including Mines) are probably making the right choices, it’s just so hard. We got word that Nepal had closed their countries borders and will not be issuing travel visas for the rest of the trekking season. So I guess it’s good that we weren’t on a plane there and got turned away at the border *smiley face*. We are trying to see what we can do to deliver this water treatment technology to these villages in the future or potential to reschedule, but it’s all up in the air still.

My heart really goes out to all the seniors who worked so hard on their projects. Either for communities, clients, or competitions. I hope we all get a chance to showcase our designs and applaud each other’s accomplishments.

Desmond Mills

Overall I would say myself and everyone that I know is extremely overwhelmed. From a student perspective, having your classes cancelled and having your clubs and organizations no longer meet, a lot of those are quintessential to my identity… Not having that so much, not having those social interactions is difficult. I’d say the biggest obstacle in terms of the COVID-19 response is [that] I no longer have an ability to work. I was initially hoping to save up some money to have an opportunity at Brown University, but it’s kind of up in the air whether or not I’m going to go and now, at the same time, even if I could go I wouldn’t be able to afford it necessarily. 

So a lot of things are in the air, and I don’t know if I want to go home. I live in Utah, and going to school in Colorado is a different situation right now. Do I want to make that risk to go home and potentially expose my family? Would that be safer for me? Or how else would I be able to transport my stuff because I don’t have a car, so would I want to fly? But at the same time that’s potential money I would have to lose if I’m not working as much. So these are a lot of factors to take into consideration. 

A unique perspective is that I’m a first generation student, the first member of my family to go to college. So there’s not a lot of family support from my perspective. So I’ve definitely had to lean on a lot of friendships and relationships that I’ve made recently in college. [I’m] not as independent as I’d like to be, but it’s nice to know that I always have those that love me and those that care for me that I can really lean on when I need to. 

Hopefully this will all fly by. We’ll have a few weeks of isolation, and maybe a lot of playing video games or discord chats or whatever. But other than that, you’ve just got to stick to it, and keep strong, and be as independent as you can. But also rely on all of those that you love, and the ones that love you.

Sara Stonebreaker (Senior Chemical Engineering Major)

I’m a graduating senior in Chemical Engineering and I have a job lined up for after graduation, but haven’t taken field session. Since we don’t know what will happen, and we aren’t allowed to graduate without field session many people are concerned about losing their job offers (due to a changed start date.) I’m also the Vice President of the American institute of Chemical Engineering and we’ve had to cancel all of our events, which has taken away a lot of wonderful experiences for our club especially our seniors including brewery tours, senior barbecue and weekly lunches. I also happen to be out of state, but haven’t been given much guidance on if I should stay in Colorado or go back to Wisconsin. I’ve decided to split the time, mainly because abruptly saying goodbye to everyone has been really difficult. I can’t believe that Friday was possibly my last day at college (so to speak) and a lot of us are trying to stay in contact. A lot of students get most of their social interaction at school and this long period of isolation from the friends and professor that we’ve grown to know and are excited to see on a regular basis is going to be hard to handle. We have a responsibility to our community to do our part but our lives have been completely uprooted and there is no “right way” to handle a situation like this. I think each of us needs to do what’s best for us individually and recognize that sacrificing our last couple months at Mines will have a positive impact on the conditions in Colorado. It’s gotten to a point that I am expected to work remotely for my internship, which can be very difficult and will result in reduced hours and of course less income (largely why I need to go home for part of this period.) I hope that everyone affected is doing the best they can and understand that many students are in an even harder position than myself. I want to go back to class, I want to have E-Days and graduation and field session. I want to see my friends and say proper goodbyes. But this time isn’t about what any one person wants and I hope we can all recognize that  and we need to support each other near or far.

Yes, professors are worrying about how to deliver exams and materials, which I understand, but we’re losing a lot more than class time

Hayden Sather (Senior Track Athlete)

We were finishing up our warmups the day before the meet when we got the news that everything was canceled. We were rated 2nd in the nation as a team, and we had multiple people on the team who were seeded to win their event and/or be an All-American. This includes myself who was supposed to run the 400m leg of the Distance Mixed Relay. We were seeded 5th in the nation, which would have made us all All-Americans.

When we first found out, everyone was extremely upset, confused, and mad at the choices made by the NCAA. Every athlete had already spent two days in the facility training before nationals – breathing the same air, touching the same surfaces, and contacting each other. If something was going to be spread, it had all already been done. The following two days of competition would not have likely caused a single more case. It felt more like a publicity stunt than a safety precaution. The NBA suspended play, and the NCAA followed suit. Fortunately the NCAA gave us eligibility back for this upcoming spring semester, but we’ll never get back the 2020 indoor National Championships that were taken from us.

I understand that ultimately we should be acting to prevent the spread of this virus, but the overblown reaction to this causes problems in communities that many people may not even think about.

Mia Wood (Senior Swimmer)

I was heartbroken as soon as I heard the news. I was getting ready to go swim in the finals of an event in which I was the top seed, and my best event was the very next day. It all felt so unfair. Some time and perspective has helped me to not entirely understand why our meet was cancelled when it was, but I do understand the cancellation of everything to protect the public in general.

Just that the most important part of this is the unbelievable support that I’ve seen towards athletes during the past few days. People have been so understanding of each other, and it’s really cool to see that kind of behavior. Plus, our coach and the athletic director were incredible about handling the situation with such extreme circumstances

Sydney Marchando (Junior Softball Player)

No athlete is prepared for their last day. We see it coming, and we count down the days, the practices, the competitions until the sport we have given our entire life to is over and we turn the page to the next chapter of our lives. No athlete wants it or wishes the days away until it’s over. For many, the days and weeks and months after the final competition are spent figuring out “what now?” For athletes who compete at the collegiate level, many sacrifices were made along the way to be in the position we are now, but for many, especially seniors, the final sacrifice wouldn’t be for the team or the game. The final sacrifice for many of us was the sport itself. When I heard the rumors that we might not be able to travel out of state for competitions, I brushed it off. There were plenty of nearby schools to play, and I figured not much would change. When the rumors started, I turned to my teammates who were experiencing the same emotions and going through the same hardship I was. We convinced ourselves that maybe they would consider letting us redshirt if they took away the rest of our season, even started planning for what classes we could take and how we could stay. All the while, it still didn’t feel real. After school transitioned fully online, we continued to practice and were getting ready for the game we had scheduled that was just days away. A few days passed, and then we got the news: all competition suspended until April 6th. We practiced as if it was our last but were told we might be back Tuesday to pick up where we left off. One of my teammates reminded us to stay in shape in case we did get to play on the 6th and we all held out hope. Not even 24 hours later and they had already changed the verdict, fully cancelling our season.

My heart breaks for the students who were already at their national tournaments, forced to return home before they had a chance to finish what they started two, three, four, five years ago when they walked in the doors at Mines and universities across the country. It breaks for the students who stepped on the field, court, mat, and pool for the last time without even knowing it. It truly didn’t feel real until I woke up on Saturday morning and didn’t have a game to get ready for. If nothing else, this puts everything into perspective. There are some things in life bigger than sports, as much as those of us who are living in it hate to admit. But college athletics is something we will never get back, and like a season ended in injury, it’s hard to grasp. At this point, there’s a lot up in the air and a lot we still don’t know. The thought of losing nearly an entire season seemed unfathomable only days ago, and yet here we are.

Gibson Stone 

I’m a senior in Sigma Kappa, and in the sorority there is a ceremony you go through right before graduation to become an alumnae member. It’s very special to all of us and is the time to formally say goodbye to sisters you may not see again for a while. Because of the virus, we had to move it up to tonight (March 15th), and several seniors as well as other members can’t attend because they’ve already gone home or they don’t feel it’s healthy for them to be out in public. Formally ending my time as a collegiate member is bittersweet, and while I’m grateful for the opportunity to still take part in this aspect of our ritual it’s much earlier than I was ready for.

I definitely think the campus administration is doing the right thing, and I know students that are at a greater health risk that are so grateful for the switch to online classes. It just feels like taking a crash course in the emotions of senior year. Also, shameless plug for social distancing and flattening the curve!

Madison Anderson

I had plans for spring break to go to Colombia for senior design. Obviously those got cancelled, and then the [ASCE regional] conference is now going onto a virtual format. It’s been crazy to say the least. Also getting kicked out of Mines Park, but you know;. you adapt and overcome!

Everybody’s getting affected by it, it’s just a matter of the extent and how much and how bad. Because everybody will likely have it one point or another, which is a harsh reality to come to, but a reality nonetheless.

We were still planning on having the conference, even when some of the schools were closing. We had first gotten an email from a school in Utah stating “we are no longer able to travel due to university actions.” So they weren’t going to be able to travel. But we were like can we be able to figure out something virtual… There might be a couple of schools that need to do virtual elements of it, they understand. But then as the virus started spreading and growing in the United States, it went from “we’re going to have the conference,” to being on the Mines level that we couldn’t because of the email that came out. 

We were trying to find workarounds, but evidently that didn’t happen. We get it based on health, and at that point all of the Utah schools had pulled out, and even a school from New Mexico had. Then we were waiting to touch base before we sent out an email to the schools saying that we don’t know what format it’s going to be in, if we’re going to have the conference, but you guys are not going to travel to the Colorado School of Mines. Shortly after we got an email from ASCE headquarters, the people that put on the conference, saying all conferences must be virtual. It wasn’t only our conference, but all of the conferences related to the concrete canoe competition were going to a virtual format. We’re still in the process of figuring out what that means for us. How we’re going to have that with Zoom, how we’re going to have the judges come Zoom in I guess, and all of that with timing and coordination of presentations. We still have a couple of weeks to figure out how we’re going to administer this virtual conference. 

I want to say that Jeff [Holley] got an email basically saying that the concrete canoe nationals were cancelled. Even with this virtual conference, if there is a winner, they’re not going to move on. But we still  want to give people that format to present and showcase all of their hard work. Because we put a lot of work into it, but that doesn’t even consider all of the work that all of the teams have put into it when it comes to casting, prototyping, their displays, everything. We just still want to give them that format. 

I never really realized how dependent our world is on social interaction. There conferences or these competitions, you wouldn’t think [have] a big social element. Steel bridge and concrete canoe have a magical way of bringing people together. Even if it is with competition. I was like “oh it’s just a competition,” but it’s not, it’s something bigger than that. But you don’t realize that until it’s getting cancelled. 

There has been a lot of frustration. And there have been tears along the way too. Because we were holding out hope, I think. Both Maddy [Caviness] (conference co-planner) and I were like “oh it’s just Utah. Utah is just overreacting.” But then it was like “okay this is growing and starting to affect us.” It felt like all of this time and energy that we had put into it  was basically for nothing, which is not the case. There’s still going to be some element to it, but we were going to have a damn good conference. If it was up to me and Maddy, it was going to be the best conference that we could have, just because of some of the fun elements that we were going to incorporate. But with that being transitioned onto a virtual format, we can’t have those fun elements. We can’t have the sand castle competition or the lawn games and stuff like that. There was just a lot of frustration there, that it’s like we’ve done all of this work and it’s not going to come to fruition. And just sadness, like “oh my gosh, it’s just being taken out of our hands.” But as I’ve gone through the past couple weeks, it’s helped a bit to just talk about it with some friends. It’s not for nothing. It was also nice to see the support of other students and our coordinators saying that this was going to be a good conference. That work was recognized, not that we were doing it for the recognition. It was nice to see that people bought into the ideas and concepts that Maddy and I had, because they also were going to be able to contribute to this great conference that is unfortunately no longer happening. 

I know there’s a lot of uncertainty associated with [the virus], and with that there’s a lot of frustration and emotions. And there are effects of social distancing, and quarantining yourselves. There are resources out there for people that can talk through these emotions. The Colorado Crisis service is one of those resources. We just need to come together and support each other at this time, rather than getting at each other’s throats with frustration. It’s just coming together as a community. At Mines you do see that. I’ve had so many people reach out to see if they could support me; with moving out of Mines Park, they’ve sent so many encouraging emails about the work that Maddy and I have done with the conference. There is that support system there, we just need to lean on it and find it in different ways. Through Zoom, texting, or whatever technology that allows for social interaction with that social distancing.

Sophia Fausey (Out-of-state Freshman)

[Having to move out] just makes everything a lot more difficult. Like I have to move everything to a storage unit when I was planning on taking summer classes and moving straight into my house. Also my friends and I do homework and study together literally every day and that wasn’t going to change because they live near campus and so we were just going to continue to meet up on campus during the day and now we can’t. My sister legit might have the coronavirus because she just flew back from Spain yesterday and now she is feeling sick. So now I’m probably gonna get it anyway lol. [T]hey’re (Mines Residence Life) so difficult to deal with I’m just gonna go with it. I’ve accepted my fate.


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'The day Mines stood still: Oredigger stories of the pandemic' has 1 comment

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    March 19, 2020 @ 8:11 am Kathy Sims

    Very well written, and a much-needed counterpoint to the current media generated outrage over kids celebrating spring break on the beaches in Florida. I would like to see this message spread far and wide so that the average American can see that college kids are getting hit as bad (or worse) as working adults. They are losing “once in a lifetime opportunities,” and it’s heartbreaking. While it’s true many adults are losing wages they need to live, and are facing desperate times, it is also true that for many adults, this is just paid “work from home.”

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