By Anisha Jintoorkar, Staff Writer and Jillian Mehta, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
A mass email was sent out by Executive Dean of Students Michael Berthel on Feb. 29 alerting some fashion merchandising students that their spring break trip to London, scheduled for March 6 to 14, was canceled due to the widespread outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
The London trip was a fashion consulting project, according to Alexandria Price, a sophomore business major.
“I’m happy it got canceled as I didn’t want to catch the virus and get quarantined,” she said. “The school took way too long to make a decision. Instead of going on the trip, I went home to spend time with my family and to relax.”
The trip wasn’t canceled until the students brought up their concerns about traveling amid the ongoing chaos caused by COVID-19, which at the time, was already considered to be an epidemic, according to junior fashion merchandising major, Breanna Boyce.
“We started this discussion with our professor and she brought it to the attention of LIU global, which ultimately led to the trip being cancelled,” she said.
Boyce was upset at first, but said she realized it was for the better.
“We got the trip credited back to our tuition but would rather had it refunded back onto the credit card,” she said.
Alyssa Fiscella, sophomore business major, agreed that cancelling the trip was to ensure student safety and the best possible decision considering the circumstances. She said after Berthel’s email was sent, her professor sent all fashion merchandising students scheduled to go to London a more personalized email.
“I’m fine with how the school notified us; however, I found it absurd that the issue was addressed [by the school] only until after us students had raised a concern,” she said.
Berthel’s email was somewhat vague, acknowledging specifically that the abroad program in Florence, Italy was postponed, along with “several scheduled study abroad trips.” The notice went on to say that the school recommends those within the LIU community who are planning to travel to an international destination should carefully consider potential associated risks trying to reenter the country.
Europe already had confirmed coronavirus cases when the trip to London was canceled. Angela Barone, a junior marketing major who was also supposed to attend the fashion merchandising trip, said she believed the trip was called off rather than postponed because of uncertainty as to how long it would take for the virus to subside.