Lessons From ExCos Carrying on During COVID-19
In preparation for this semester, the Experimental College Committee worked an unprecedented 120 hours over the summer. On top of their typical summer tasks, ExCo Committee members sent regular updates to their instructors, kept their information updated as developments from the College rolled in, and planned to meet technological equipment and other classroom needs within the constraints of necessary COVID-19 adjustments.
In order to battle the isolation fostered by social distancing, the ExCo Committee has added a new assignment for all ExCo instructors.
“We have implemented a new ‘ExCo Pen Pal’ assignment for our instructors so they are able to make connections with other ExCo instructors and have multiple resources when they have problems or questions,” Emily Spezia-Shwiff, College fourth-year and co-chair of the ExCo Committee, wrote in an email to the Review.
The College’s decision to delay the return of third-years to campus until the Spring 2021 semester greatly affected ExCo — following that announcement 22 classes were canceled, mainly because their instructors were third-years. However, most of those classes will be taught in the spring.
Despite these challenges, ExCo is offering 41 courses this semester with 65 instructors — in comparison to 60 classes with 86 instructors in Spring 2020. Of these classes, 18 are in-person, 14 are hybrid, and nine are remote.
Click on a picture to learn something new from this semester’s ExCos:
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.