Everything looks, feels, and sounds a little different this year on Alden Street. As students immerse in their fourth week of classes, they are starting to get the hang of how exactly things are going to go for the remainder of the semester.
Social distancing, wearing masks, not being able to hangout in large groups in one area, and having some classes being taught through Zoom are just a few of the many regulations Springfield College has set out to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff for the fall semester.
A handful of students have actually decided to stay at home for the semester, as they figured it would be a cheaper option without having to put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19.
There are many different perspectives from the students here on campus, as ideas seem to differ based on whether or not they are an athlete, graduation year, and their position here on campus.
Sophomore William Parrott, who is a wrestler at Springfield, said he has noticed a very wide range of reactions to the regulations set on campus. “This experience here is definitely something that is different for all of us,” Parrott stated. “I have seen a wide variety of reactions from lots of my peers. Some seem down and out, others are acting up-beat and excited as if everything is normal.”
One way to cope with something this serious could be to make the most out of it, as Parrott continued, “I like seeing the people who are acting happy and content with just being back on campus, it brightens the mood for others around.”
He emphasized that those who are upset and unhappy with the rules that have been set need to realize that the more strictly everyone follows the rules, the better chance we have at treating the virus and staying here on campus.
As for the seniors on campus, it’s all about making it to the end of the Spring semester, so they can have a normal graduation ceremony and receive their diplomas the normal way, not via postal services.
Willow Mennone, a senior and resident assistant in International Hall, feels as if underclassmen are not following guidelines to the best of their ability. “As an RA, I have seen many cases where students walk around their resident hall without masks on,” Mennone said. She graduates this year and spotlighted the importance of remaining on campus for the rest of the year.
“The more I see students not following community guidelines, I always think about how they are ruining not only my chance of enjoying my last year on campus, but the hundreds of others who are also graduating this year,” Mennone said.
Not only are the on-campus experiences different for all students, but so are their classroom experiences. Sophomore Paige Butler, an athletic training major, noted that she has to clean her desk after every sitting in some of her classes.
“Things are a lot different in every one of my classes,” Butler offered. “Not only do I have to disinfect everything I touch, but I also can’t do any of the hands-on stuff that my courses often require.”
As an athletic training major, Butler talked about how important hands on activities are for her major.
“I can’t learn a lot of the things that I am supposed to in my courses this year because we have to stay six feet apart, it’s very frustrating,” she said.
Clinical hours are a necessity for athletic training majors, as you need a certain amount of them to be able to take the BOC exam, which is an exam for athletic training majors. Butler noted that if students get sent home due to a COVID-19 outbreak, she would not be able to meet her required hours, meaning she would not be able to take the test.
Mental health is another very important aspect of everyday life, and that is one notion that has been altered for many so far this year. “It’s obviously very hard to ignore it,” Parrott said. “It’s one of those things that lingers with you every minute of the day. I have just tried to talk about everything I’m feeling, it’s helped me vent and feel free.”
It is clear that many, many important commodities are at stake for the majority of people on campus, so it is important that everyone continues to strictly follow all guidelines that have been set.
One thing is for sure, this year is entirely different for every human that has stepped foot on campus. Everyone is adapting, everyone is learning, and everyone, for the most part, is doing there best to follow the guidelines and keep the Springfield College community safe.
Photo: Irene Rotondo/The Student