How students and faculty handle seasonal illness

(Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

With flu season at its peak, students and professors have several resources available to them if they miss class due to illness.

On Feb. 2, the Connecticut Department of Health issued a press release detailing how the flu continues to be extensive throughout the state. The press release reported a total of 52 deaths in the past few months attributable to some type of flu. Almost 3,000 positive influenza tests have been reported so far this season in the state, according to the report.

Many students and professors on campus are facing the trials of dealing with illness early on in the semester. Ramya Rajesh, a second-semester freshman majoring in political science, said she had to miss important lectures last week right before some of her first exams due to seasonal illness.  

“I would love for there to be a way for students to participate from the comfort of their dorm or home when they are sick. Being in a college campus, obviously your primary purpose is to gain knowledge,” Rajesh said. “For both faculty and students, all this technology we have should be factored in to help those who are ill during these stressful times.”

Jayanne Perkins, a freshman majoring in speech, language and hearing sciences, said she has not had trouble in communicating with her professors in terms of alternatives when she misses classes, but stresses how important it is to take the initiative as the student.

“It’s terrible when you have to miss a class, but communication is key,” Perkins said. “If there’s a participation requirement in the class, sometimes you can send it in through email and if there’s an assignment that you’re unable to complete due to absence and illness, you need to be in communication with the professor and ask for alternatives. Professors are easy to talk to, and they tend to understand when you’re going through something, but they can’t help you if you don’t reach out to them.”

As for professors, having to cancel class can also be a challenge that arises when inevitable circumstances or other commitments are at play. Veronica Makowsky, a professor from the English department, said she recently had to cancel class due to seasonal illness.

CETL stands for Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and is available for all faculty and staff, including Teaching Assistants. The CETL and its website feature tips and recommendations, as well as conferences and meetings to help professors find the best resources to expand the scope of their teaching and find new alternatives in cases such as the one at hand.

“I think the faculty, including me, needs to learn more about such technologies offered through CETL,” Makowsky said.

Daniela Paredes is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at