Ohio University’s Shively Hall will be converted into an academic space for the Fall Semester, and professors and students alike are facing uncertainty as to what their classes will look like.
Shively Hall is located on East Green and was originally built as a residence hall and dining hall known as Shively Court. According to a previous Post report, Shively closed its dining hall permanently in April 2020 due to low enrollment numbers. In January 2021, Shively Court reopened as a Grab N’ Go option as many students reported long dining hall lines. Shively Hall is still used as a residence hall.
Director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Eddith Dashiell’s course called Gender, Race, and Class in Journalism and Mass Media was originally listed on course offerings to be taught in Shively.
“Departments and schools haven't had any control over where to put their classes,” Dashiell said. “We used to be able to assign our classes to particular classrooms, and the university took that away from us, so they could centrally schedule the classes to maintain social distancing.”
Katie Hawkinson, a senior majoring in global studies and strategic communication, plans to take Gender, Race, and Class in Journalism and Mass Media in the upcoming Fall Semester.
“It didn't even register to me,” Hawkinson said. “I don't know how the logistics are going to work out, because I've seen on Facebook and stuff the plants are overgrown in there. I don't really know how much people like upkeep, or have kept it in the last two years”
Dashiell said when she found out she would be teaching in Shively, she had questions including where exactly her teaching location within Shively would be. On course offerings, Dashiell’s course was originally listed to be taught in “Shively Hall 015.”
“I don’t know where Shively 015 is,” Dashiell said. “I don't know how classrooms are going to be set up, or what kind of audio, video capabilities will be provided.”
Following Dashiell’s initial discovery of her course location, the Gender, Race, and Class in Journalism and Mass Media class was divided in half. One section will be taught by herself and the other by Journalism Professor Mary Rogus. As of recently, Dashiell’s section of the course is no longer listed to be taught in Shively on course offerings, but she still is unaware of where the class will be held.
Rogus declined to speak on the transition of Shively into an academic environment as she has not seen the teaching space, although she admits she has concerns about noise levels and technology.
Hawkinson said it will be strange to take classes in the dining hall where she used to eat lunch everyday and has lingering concerns surrounding Shively as an academic space.
“There's nothing, there's no projector in there unless they totally convert the space,” Hawkinson said. “It's not really designed or anything to be used in a learning environment.”
University spokesperson Jim Sabin confirmed culinary services will not use Shively Court and Grab N’ Go as dining venues for Fall Semester.
“In an effort to maintain social distancing in classrooms in the Fall, OHIO is using select large spaces for a few classes, and we anticipate Shively will be included,” Debra Benton, the university registrar, said in an email. “University Planning and the Office of Information Technology continue to review these spaces to ensure they are appropriate for a classroom setting.”
Professors and students still await answers to their questions, and Dashiell said she would prefer answers before the first day of class August 23 to avoid any surprises.
“I don’t know what the situation is going to be,” Dashiell said. “I know people are still working on that, it’s very stressful.”