Dear Franklin Community,

I am Jonathan Bystrowski, a Sophomore studying Social Justice and Sustainability at Franklin. I am writing to you from my house in Connecticut to talk to you about my experience with our online learning. The adjustment has been very hard. Going about my life at Franklin and then, unexpectedly, having the semester on campus come to a halt was a shocking and very disappointing experience.

I am one of the captains of the basketball team and a part of many other extracurricular activities on campus. It was devastating to see all of those events canceled. There were so many amazing things that we were looking forward to in the rest of the semester, such as academic travel, cultural nights, and also the annual Holi Festival of Colors. The worst parts of this quarantine situation is the sense ofisolation that we have all been feeling. This is why I am so thankful to the Franklin Community. In this tumultuous time, you have given me a sense of belonging and purpose while also allowing me to continue my studies relatively seamlessly.

The thing that I love about Franklin in this time period is that, as a community, we were able to adapt to this situation very quickly. There was a week for us to transition to online classes and get them up and running. Thanks to our IT department, professors, administration, and students, we were able to get this done. Along with that, even though many of us are all over the world, we are still connected. Franklin and its professors have given students in all kinds of different time zones the ability to interact with our classes by providing us with the resources that we need.

Another great thing about being a part of the Franklin community at this time is the way that we are supporting each other. Our student leaders and staff have done an amazing job of putting together events for students at the university. There have been events such as University Day, where everyone was able to Zoom in to talk to a Franklin Alumna who was answering questions about her latest documentary, as well as events like Latin night and cooking demonstrations. Students who had traveled home were even able to donate their remaining meal plan money to students who remained in Lugano. This is a community that I am really proud to be a part of and it has helped make this quarantine a little easier. These things show that, no matter where we are in the world, we are still a community and, as Falcons, we stand together! #FranklinWeStand

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bystrowski
Sophomore  (Social Justice and Sustainability​​​​​​)
Franklin University Switzerland