Short-term summer study abroad courses cancelled

Megan Willgoos, Managing Editor

RWU students who planned to take the short-term study abroad Beer Culture or Propaganda courses will be staying home instead. 

On March 17, Dr. Robert Cole, chair of the Department of Communication, Graphic Design and Web Development, told students enrolled in CORE 430: Beer Culture via email that the Senior Seminar course is cancelled, due to the risk of COVID-19. These students were going to travel to Germany, Belgium and England between May 19 and June 2.

“With temporary international travel bans instituted in the United States and now in Europe, and the future footprint of COVID-19 unknowable, we cannot put the physical and emotional safety of our students at risk,” Cole wrote in the email. 

As for both cancelled courses, the program fees will be fully refunded to the students. Other worries are coming from seniors who needed the course to fulfill their credits in order to graduate. 

“I am so sad,” said senior Emily Reiner, who planned to take the Beer Culture class. 

“They don’t know what they are doing for the course… they don’t know how they are going to substitute it. It’s going to take a toll on summer.” 

Seniors enrolled in these courses must now plan to take an online Senior Seminar course in order to receive the necessary credit RWU requires. This option has never been offered before. 

Junior Bridget Cornetta was enrolled in CORE 430: Propaganda Methods Past and Present, a different Senior Seminar course that involved traveling to Germany, Austria and Czech Republic. She and other enrolled students received an email with the cancellation news from Professor of Public Relations Amiee Shelton on March 18. This trip was set to run from May 18 to June 8.

“I don’t think they should have made a decision so soon,” Cornetta said.  

“The trip is in two months and the conditions could get better. I understand it’s out of the country travel but this could turn around sooner than we think.”