“Do or Die” is a motto said often by members of Illinois State University’s Gamma Phi Circus.

Now, more than ever, that phrase is being tested. Members of the circus train all school year for one weekend in April. But with a blink of an eye, that weekend was gone.

“I literally felt my heat drop,” GPC President Sophie Remmert said. “I’ve been disappointed, or heartbroken before, but certainly nothing like this feeling.”

On March 11 ISU President Larry Dietz sent out a campus-wide email stating that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university will be extending spring break a week. Classes would also switch to online-only format until at least April 12.

“I was overwhelmed,” GPC Treasurer Clare Maylone said.

Maylone adds she was wondering about a lot of things after the initial email. This included class requirements and stress about her on campus job.

“As a circus member, I was wondering if we would still be able to have our shows,” Maylone said. “As a leader in Gamma Phi, I was dealing with so many questions from the rest of the troupe that I didn’t know the answers to. I felt really hopeless and lost.”

However, the fate of the 2020 Gamma Phi Circus home show, “The World of Music,” wasn’t known yet.