05 Jan 2021
Journal of American college health : J of ACH; - :
OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 raised concern for those spending time in college classrooms and dormitories. Students faced sudden changes to their lives and relied upon written messages for directives. This study investigated the language of university-based communications, based on models of crisis communication and epidemic management. METHODS: The Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count was used to investigate the language in the most salient written messages from universities to students regarding the migration to online classes. RESULTS: As predicted, certain word types were used more frequently than others. The larger the student body, the more frequently universities used
. and the more likely a COVID update would be posted on the homepage within three months' time. CONCLUSION: Messages should be guided by models of crisis management and carefully crafted, given the role of universities in managing large numbers of students during ongoing pandemic illness.