How Student’s Feel Living on a College Campus with COVID-19 Regulations

(Picture taken from Shepherd University Student Affairs Instagram)

When covid began we where fighting for toilet paper, and terrified to leave our homes. Some people denied it even existed, others lost loved ones. Overall everyone has been impacted in some way by this pandemic. College students specifically had a very hard decision to make this semester; To stay home and wait until the pandemic was over, or go back on campus despite the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

I interviewed multiple students from various universities to better understand their experience after choosing to live on campus. Each student was quick to express how this semester has been going with the different policies and regulations implemented by their College or University.

McDaniel College is a private liberal arts college located in Westminster Maryland. Max Ferraris and Erin Kimber are both Sophomores at McDaniel college and currently live in traditional style housing on campus. When I asked why each of them decided to move back on campus Erin Kimber responded, “Personally I wanted to live on campus because I struggle with online classes and I don’t like being with my family.”

Unlike other colleges like Townson University which transferred online August 22nd after 55 positive covid cases, McDaniel decided to keep its students on campus. They altered the semester to, “Two seven week courses that have a break in-between,” According to Max Ferraris. “Our showers are broken up, and so are out sinks,” Says Ferraris about his residence hall, “They are only for two or three doors, and there are no visitors aloud in the dorms so if you don't live there you cant go in, but that rule gets broken every day. The RA’s (residence assistants) have people in their rooms.”

Shepherd University, a liberal arts University in Shepherdstown West Virginia also has a guest policy similar to McDaniel College. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 Shepherd University has also made all rooms single occupancy unless requested otherwise by students.

Jera Bassatt, a Hall Director and graduate student at Shepherd University has had firsthand experience enforcing this policy with her residents. “The guest policy has affected me the most because it is challenging to know who is supposed to be in buildings and who is not because everyone is wearing masks.” Basset also elaborated when asked about the consistency of students wearing masks within her residence halls saying, “from what I have seen a larger percentage of students do wear masks however there are a number of students who need to be reminded repeatedly.” Shepherd University requires students to wear masks everywhere on campus aside from bedrooms and cars. Jakob Ball, A football player and resident at the apartments at Shepherd University commented on the frequency of students wearing masks stating, “The football players do not wear masks.”

Erskine College a Christian College located in Due West South Carolina also requires masks. Jensen Button a Sophomore and Athlete has experienced more leniency regarding a mask policy when compared to Shepherd University. Button clarified that they are, “Required inside but not outside.” Button has experienced a COVID related incident first hand while being back on campus in his traditional style dorm for fall semester. “I have been quarantined, we have a contact tracing policy. They will lock you up for two weeks and drop off food. You have an app to put in how you are feeling everyday and if you have a single symptom you are quarantined.” When asked about repercussions for not filling out the app or wearing a mask Button said, “Honestly I have no clue because I ignore them. I don't even know, I mind my own business. I generally follow the rules, I honestly don’t know what they are doing for it.”

Noah Wienclawski is a sophomore and returning student to Averett University. Averett University is a private Baptist college in Danville Virginia, and requires students to wear masks, follow a policy for no guests, and use a Tuesday and Thursday alternating schedule to keep the amount of students per classroom low. Noah Wienclawski claims that he, “Hasn't heard of anyone going out of their way breaking these policy's.” Wienclawski also feels that he “Has good scholarships, but I feel like I’m loosing my money because of the pandemic.

“COVID-19.” Erskine College, www.erskine.edu/covid-19/.

“Fall 2020 Housing Adjustments.” Shepherd University | Residencelife | Reslifecovid19, www.shepherd.edu/residencelife/reslifecovid19.

“One Averett, Together Again.” Averett University, www.averett.edu/student-life/campus-security/livesafe/.

“Housing Policies and Restrictions Related to COVID-19.” McDaniel, www.mcdaniel.edu/about-us/campus-safety/return-hill-rtth/fall-2020-housing-policies-and-restrictions.

Staff, CBS Baltimore. “Towson University Moves Classes Online After 55 Test Positive For COVID-19.” CBS Baltimore, CBS Baltimore, 22 Aug. 2020, baltimore.cbslocal.com/2020/08/22/towson-university-online-only-classes-coronavirus/.