Syracuse University will shift all college courses online after spring break through at least March 30 out of caution as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
He said students should not return to campus after spring break, which is next week, and they should bring anything with them that they would need to continue academic studies after the break. They're also canceling events that exceed 50 people.
"It's a morally responsible decision that this University made to try to protect not only the staff and professors here at Syracuse University, but also the community,” said David Larsen, who is a public health associate professor at Syracuse University.
"Being cautious with so many students about to travel for spring break, I support that,” said Timothy Bryant, a Syracuse University student. “If we learn from our history, we should know that we should be prepared. It's not about blowing it out of proportion, but to be prepared for something."
However, other students disagree, especially because there are no confirmed cases at the University or in Central New York. The majority of confirmed cases in New York are in Westchester County and the immediate New York City area.
"The areas that have a lot of cases makes total sense they are being putting on online classes and classes being canceled,” said Olivia Kylander, a Syracuse University student. “But for right now, I don't think it's necessary."
Larsen says this isn't a new phenomenon, and people shouldn't panic.
"This is not an existential threat,” said Larsen. “Humanity has encountered infectious disease epidemics since our inception. This happens every 10-15 years. We will get through this. This will be disruptive. It will affect our lives, but life will go on."
Syracuse University isn't the only school in Central New York making the switch. Cornell University announced Tuesday they will be moving their courses online.
Colgate University also took action and are moving instructional classes online.