Ripon College responds to COVID-19

Ripon has extended spring break and moved to online classes

By Deana Johnson

Posters instructing students to maintain social distancing while moving out hang in the entryways to dorm buildings.
Photo courtesy of Connor Renshaw.

As the COVID-19 spread to become a global pandemic, Ripon College had to make decisions on what to do for the remainder of the semester.


Students getting ready to leave for Spring Break were encouraged to bring all essential and school related items with them as the possibility of online schooling was in the air. The college had also sent out an email announcing to students and staff that Spring Break would be extended an extra week.


“We have taken this action for two primary reasons. One to allow our faculty some extra days to work with our information technology staff to prepare, if we decide, to move a significant portion of our curriculum online. Secondly, to gain clarity as to whether we will be able to return to a regular in-class schedule on March 30. The extra week allows more time to determine the severity of the pandemic and chart an appropriate response.” President Messitte stated.

Trash piles up at the end of a hallway as students move out of their dorm rooms.
Photo courtesy of Connor Renshaw.

Halfway through Spring Break on March 18th, President Messitte sent out a larger message about how the remainder of Spring Semester would go. Within the email students were told that the rest of the semester would be done in an online format. Beyond this the College was to be closed entirely except for students who must remain on campus. For students who were not on campus during Spring Break they were given a three day window to collect their possessions from their dorm rooms and move out. The email also stated that the administration was waiting to hear from the federal government about possible refunds for room and board.


Over thirty days since the announcement of online classes for the remainder of the semester, students are finishing up their third week of online classes primarily on zoom. In an additional change, President Messitte announced that Commencement has since been moved to the weekend of Oct. 3-4 2020.