Lee Myers is a senior at Berea College in Kentucky. Up until March 14, he was living in a dorm called Deep Green, majoring in philosophy with a minor in economics, and looking forward to a future career in social justice. Now that the campus has closed and graduation is canceled due to coronavirus, he and his classmates have bigger things to worry about.
“Some people are panicking, rightly so,” he says, “because they don’t know what they’re going to do. It’s sort of like a bombshell that dropped on campus.”
Every day, more colleges and universities are canceling in-person classes due to the threat. Most are keeping dorms and dining halls open for now, but a growing number have asked students to pack up and leave campus indefinitely. That presents a problem for the significant fraction of students who depend on their school for basic needs — food, housing, financial aid, health insurance and on-campus jobs. And, as colleges shift to online learning for the remainder of the semester, not everyone can afford the necessary laptops and broadband.
Around 700 colleges have established food pantries in the past several years, including Georgetown, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Washington, according to the College and University Food Bank Alliance. .
Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder of the Hope Center, says now is the time for colleges to really step up.
“When you’re trying to help a group of people, especially during a crisis, it’s really important to center the most vulnerable people.”
For the original article click here: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816579130/when-colleges-shut-down-some-students-have-nowhere-to-go
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