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Students cancel spring break plans amid pandemic concerns

Nations across the globe are cancelling conferences, seasons and events and enacting new protocol and procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

At Pittsburg State, students have moved out of the dorms and classes have been moved online for the remainder of the spring semester.  

Students began the transition to online course delivery this week as well as adjusting to all of the new changes, spring break travelling plans were changed as well.  

Emerson Cochran, junior in interior design, was set to travel to New Orleans during spring break for a mission trip with South Broadway Baptist church. The group planned to do post hurricane restoration. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans hasn’t been restored to what it was before the hurricane and the group was planning to assist in construction projects.  

According to Cochran, those going on the trip began asking questions towards the beginning of March and decided it was best to cancel the trip.  

“… People definitely (started) asking like within the week of March 8 like if we would still be going,” Cochran said. “…March 11, we got our first message that (said), ‘Hey, I know some of you are concerned (about going on the trip).’ I was one of them (that was concerned) and so they were going to think over it and like talk with the organization to see if we could still go. March 13 was whenever they officially had to cancel our trip.”  

They had been planning the trip since last fall.  

“…I think I heard about in probably like November was when I heard that we would be going or that we be able to go on a trip for the church,” Cochran said. “I was just like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have any spring break plans.’ And I know that like I had been on a trip for the church before and like they were pretty good about like fundraising for any college student that wanted to go. So, I knew that it would be like almost all paid for too. And it’s a mission trip but honestly like I kind of just wanted to travel a little bit too.”  

Cochran was looking forward to the trip and was disappointed when it was cancelled.  

“I mean it was disappointing, but I means there’s just so many things that were different,” Cochran said. “Not only with spring break cancelled but like I mean we’re not even going to school until next fall… There’s just a like lot of uncertainty in general. So, I feel like yes it was kind of disheartening but like there’s so much that’s like kind of been a letdown at the same time.”  

Logan Chatman, junior in manufacturing engineering technologies, also cancelled his spring break travel plans. Chatman, along with several other students, had been planning to go to Panama City, Florida for a little over a month.  

“So, it was a big group of the international students,” Chatman said. “We had students from about eight different countries that were gonna be (going) with all of us to Panama City. We had a house that we had reserved and everything.”  

With the pandemic and various changes going on, students began wondering if travelling was the best decision and the group made the decision to cancel the trip.  

“Officially, (we cancelled the trip) like two days before (spring break started),” Chatman said. “Slowly, some of the students started backing away just because of there was more and more cases starting to develop over in Florida. So, some of the students just figured it was better to not go so we kind of respected their decision. But initially we were told that this was going to be nonrefundable, so we were like we already paid for it, we’re gonna go. Then, about two days before our initial planned date to leave enough people had ether decided they weren’t gonna go or were scheduling flights back home. So, we decided to try to message the company to see if we could get some kind of refund…” 

Like Cochran, Chatman was disappointed that they had to cancel the trip.  

“Yeah, it was pretty disappointing,” Chatman said. “…We started to understand that the situation was starting to get kind of out of hand and so we kind of figured that at the very least even if we were just sitting… (with only) parts of the group on the beach, it would be better than nothing… But as more and more people started to back away from it, it just started to sound like less and less fun. So, it was pretty disappointing especially since now most of the people who were going have left the country… We spent a lot of time trying to plan all of the trip out, but it was really a big bummer for us all (to) just kind of (see it) get washed away like that.”  

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