To the students and lawyers who are suing universities over COVID-19 response:

Shame on you! This is a full-on pandemic! Every university across the nation transitioned to online classes due to the coronavirus outbreak, and every professor had to adapt lectures, labs, meetings and tutoring. To claim “It’s not fair to make students pay for services not provided” and allege you didn’t receive what you paid for is ludicrous!

As a parent with a high school student, college student, and college professor at home for the past two months, I have a multifaceted perspective. With all three vying for internet bandwidth, silence during Zoom meetings, online instruction, exams, text and phone conversations, our household was thrown into a maze of challenge, frustration and exhaustion.

Yes, our MU freshman was disappointed with his abrupt departure from campus. He had classes that included labs, which were extremely difficult to adapt to an online format. He reported that online instruction was more challenging than in-person lectures and labs —but he learned nonetheless. My husband had the most challenges to effectively make COVID-19 adaptations. His preparations, presentations and grading/evaluations were time-consuming and demanding.

His days begin early and end late. He is ALWAYS available to answer students’ questions and is in constant interaction with his peers and dean. In addition to his “new” schedule, he may soon undergo a pay cut or furlough. Some college employees are losing their jobs.

The services our nation’s college professors are providing go above and beyond during this crazy pandemic time. So, please DO NOT tell a professor (or spouse) that college students shouldn’t pay for “services not provided”! I’d invite you to spend a month in our home to observe otherwise.

(Please wear your mask!)

Jean Falter Jenner, Columbia