Today: Jun 25, 2024

Students should be optimistic about next year

Sam TapperEditor-in-Chief

It is so hard to be-lieve that this school year, which has been like no other, is draw-ing to a close — as is my college career. While my typical college experience was taken away in March of 2020, there are reasons for students to be optimistic about returning next year.

Last Thursday, University President Joe Bertolino held a town hall to answer questions from the campus community directly was one of his main focal points.

And gave a rough painting of what the upcoming fall semester will look like. The university will not mandate vaccines for students which unfortunately means masks will still be an everyday necessity on campus. As will some amount of social distancing, whether it be the standard 6-foot designation or reduced to three feet for those who are vaccinated.

Still, on-ground events are slowly making their return to campus this semester, especially these past few weeks with the addition of the tent next to Connecticut Hall.

By next fall, university faculty and staff will all be back on campus. With that in mind, it is safe to say this age of having fun, engag-ing and interactive events over WebEx and Airmeet may soon be behind us once and for all.

This university is heavy on pushing its students to get involved, which has been hard to do so in this new age of Zoom calls. But because of the pandemic, many first-year students missed out on the standard traditions, such as: New Owl Wel-come, homecoming and, of course, spring break.

With the exception of spring break, which will presumably be implemented again next spring, Berto-lino said next fall he hopes to have many involvement opportunities available for sophomores as well first-years, because he understands what the the current freshmen class this year have missed out on.

Heck, Bertolino is always showing up and making friends during New Owl Welcome — that is how I met him for the first time. Even in my time as a peer mentor, there always came a point where I found myself able to find him and spark a conversation. I can only imagine how he feels not being able to get out and meet students as easily as he once could.

My point though, is that the administration as well as the rest of the faculty and staff on campus understand what has been taken away from students. Nobody asked for this or wanted this to ever happen, and they will do their absolute best to bring some form of what it used to be back.

Campus life will not be a perfect replica of what was next year. Again, the masks are not going away, nor is the plexiglass. But this school’s claim to fame is the opportunities it offers students beyond the classroom — in-volvement opportuni-ties, resume building opportunities.

While things will be far off from what life was like back in 2019, it is important for students to see that the faculty is trying hard for them. While that may only mean so much to some stu-dents, there is a clear reason for optimism as socializing will clearly be more doable.

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