Are you ready for the solar eclipse? ‘It’s dope,’ student says

Pictured is the progression of a solar eclipse. Photo courtesy of Vito Technology, Inc.

Gabriel Ward | Contributing Writer

Monday, people across the globe will be preparing to witness an event so rare that it has only happened twice in the past 45 years, the other, of course, occurring in 2017. That event is the complete solar eclipse. 

Although a similar total eclipse occurred just a few years ago, NASA assured that this one is different, saying that “the path of totality – where viewers can see the Moon totally block the Sun, revealing the star’s outer atmosphere, called the corona – is much wider during the upcoming total solar eclipse than it was during the eclipse in 2017.”

Dayton students, much like everyone around the country, are preparing for the solar eclipse. But at UD, things are a little different, and that is because USA Today has ranked Dayton as one of their 12 best places to see the solar eclipse.

However, with the upcoming eclipse also come possible dangers if you don’t prepare properly. One of the most important pieces of protection will be eclipse glasses, and while you may think that regular sunglasses would work, that is not true. 

As reported in an NPR article, “looking at the sun without proper eye protection for even a short time can harm your eyes and risk permanently damaging your retina, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.”

The University of Dayton Housing and Residence Life sent out an email to all students on April 1 letting the students know that glasses will be necessary to view the eclipse and that “eclipse-approved glasses will be available at all residential front desks beginning April 3.” 

One of the biggest reasons for the excitement is that UD has decided that all classes that take place between 1:25 and 4:50 p.m. will not be held on Monday to give students opportunities to witness this historic event.

Many students are looking forward to the eclipse, partially because classes are being canceled. Harry Barsan, a student at UD, stated that he plans on watching the total solar eclipse and that he was excited, adding that “it’s dope. It’s not every day you see an eclipse, so I’m glad we’re getting school off to see it.”

UD student Bryson Malone also had a very similar view, saying that “it is always great to have classes canceled. I am looking forward to watching the eclipse.” 

But it is not just classes being canceled that is getting UD students excited; some are excited for any potential learning experiences that may come with the eclipse. “I think it is important for us students to learn about our planet’s perspective on the universe,” student Tyler Tackett said. 

Some of the learning opportunities that the university is offering started on Wednesday, April 3. In an email that day from the UD Student News Digest, students were told that “Beginning today, UD’s eclipse committee invites you to drop-in information sessions to learn the basics of a total solar eclipse. Sessions will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 3-5 in the KU Lobby. Additionally, UD eclipse committee member David Wright will give 15-minute talks on the eclipse every quarter hour, 9-11 a.m. April 5 in the LTC Studio and 12-2 p.m. April 7 in KU 310.”

Outside of the educational opportunities, the university is also trying to make the event as festive as possible for students. In the Student News Digest email, UD explained that one thing that being done is to invite students out to the Central Mall to watch the eclipse together while providing telescopes and music. There also will be solar eclipse-themed food created during a grill-out put on by university dining services. 

Beyond the impact that the solar eclipse is bound to have on the UD community, there is almost certainly going to be an impact felt all across Dayton. Hotels across the Miami Valley are completely booked. According to WHIO-TV, “Staff at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Dayton told News Center 7 they are completely booked for Sunday and Monday.”

Due to Dayton being in the path of totality, making it such a popular place to view the eclipse, people from all over the region will be traveling. Because of this, Melinda Hartman sent out a “Flyer Aware” email reminding students to “fill your gas tank, buy essential groceries, and make sure your prescriptions are filled.”

The path of totality is putting Dayton on a national stage, from people visiting to students having a chance to see an extremely rare moment. The day should be a historic one for the University of Dayton, along with the rest of the globe. Students are looking forward to taking full advantage of the eclipse and everything that comes with it.  

For more eclipse coverage check out our story here.

Flyer News: Univ. of Dayton's Student Newspaper