Returning to campus creates mixed feelings among students and faculty. Professors have their own thoughts about the progression of the semester, as the scholarly rhythm could be interrupted by the seemingly never-ending pandemic. Students have strong opinions on the way the semester will play out.
My return to campus came up unexpectedly as I was supposed to study abroad in Barcelona for my fall semester of my senior year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t acquire my visa in time, which resulted in a scramble to find housing the day before classes started for the semester at Champlain.
Coming back to Burlington feels safe in my mind because I know Covid cases are lower here, but across the lake at my sister Harleigh’s school, Saint Lawrence University, it’s a different story. About a week into classes, she informed me there were 60 Covid cases and students who tested positive were being sent home. After talking to her she felt nervous to go back to school, and wasn’t too excited because she enjoyed summer, but she liked her classes and was ready to make new friends.
“I want things to go back to normal, the vaccine should help, but it’s not really doing much. All we can do is hope for a better future,” says Harleigh.
I spent the summer in Burlington and during my time here, the mask mandate went away in Champlain buildings. When I was made aware that we had to wear masks in Champlain buildings again, I was a bit disappointed, but I know it’s for the best.
I’m afraid that we will be remote again. Students are unsure if classes will go online and I’m not sure if faculty know that either. Since campus testing has decreased significantly and students don’t have to get tested unless they are symptomatic, I fear that people may be positive for Covid and not even know it.
Being back in Burlington makes me happy because it’s a place where I can support all my hobbies like hiking, camping, skiing, and music, and I’m looking forward to spending a nice fall and winter here with my friends. I love it here and I know I’ll have a great semester even with the pandemic and all, and abroad adventures can wait till after I graduate.
Maya Gastman ’22, a Broadcast major, is the CLT’s student assistant for website and social media.