Changes to spring semester expected as COVID-19 pandemic rages on
Tinsae Shiffraw, Staff Writer
On Oct. 7th, the President of Saint Martin’s University, Roy Heynderickx, sent an email addressing how spring semester will operate while the nation remains in a pandemic. With the fall semester, students have been following strict guidelines, with two people allowed in each dorm room and single seats in dining areas, among other regulations. The university also plans on switching to remote learning after Thanksgiving break, for the safety of students and staff and in an effort to minimize transmission of COVID-19.
Though the final status of classes has not been formally announced, administration for Saint Martin’s have announced the removal of spring break and added an extra week onto winter break. School will officially start on Jan. 19th and returning students will return on Jan. 17th to their dorms. Testing and quarantining are encouraged while students are moving closer and closer to the spring semester and preparing to return home.
Students have expressed their thoughts about how spring semester is being handled by the school. Freshman Ja’Tarya Hoskins says “I honestly think that what they are doing for spring semester is nice. It makes me less worried about coming back and getting COVID-19 after the break. It does suck that spring break is a three-day weekend but I’d rather that than do online learning or getting COVID-19.”
Other students believe that the spring semester will be more laid back than how it is currently with the policies. Freshman Shy Yamasaki has also spoken about the spring semester and how the school plans on responding to the pandemic. “I think it’s going to be similar but more relaxed due to people being used to the rules and possibility of less cases,” said Yamasaki.
Junior Faith Sabo spoke about the decision of the removal of spring break. “I think the decision to remove spring break is a decision made to protect the students,” said Sabo.
For many freshmen, they were upset with the event of a pandemic. With it being their freshmen year of college, the pandemic has affected the experience. Freshman Erity Diaz spoke about the pandemic occurring within her first year of study. “We can’t properly hang out with friends and are locked in our rooms due to the pandemic. I hope the pandemic is over so I can hang out with my friends without my mask,” said Diaz.
With spring semester slowly creeping in, students must be prepared to continue taking precautions as we continue our education, now and in the future.