By Zachary Powell
On the weekend of January 30th, Wilson College Residents Life and the resident assistants welcomed residential students back to campus for the start of the spring semester. Despite the three-month layoff that students had from the fall semester up until the first of February for the start of the spring semester, the college’s committee had different staff and employees of the college working hard to ensure that students would have a safe return to in-person instruction for the spring semester in the best manner possible.
There have been many changes to campus, some minor changes, and some major changes, mainly based on safety protocols and social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone stepping foot onto campus. One of the major changes has been the dining hall, which is not the typical fashion which people eating the dining hall usually see.
“The portion size for the dining hall is a lot smaller than usual,” Bethany Comp ’21 said. “We used to be able to get any amount of food that we wanted but now we are limited to the amount of food we get.”
The dining hall has mostly the same hours, but the process for receiving your food is a little different than normal.
“When you go through the line, the workers give you the amount of food that they think you want,” Amber Allen ’21 said. “Everyone’s amount of food differs and having someone get it for you is different than getting it for yourself.”
“The majority of people only go through the line once, so you have to take advantage of that one opportunity,” John Sollenberger ‘21 said. “You can only get your food as fast as the person whose getting your food.”
One minor change that the college has made for students is that they want a majority of, if not all, clubs to meet online somehow whether that be zoom, skype, or any other form of communication.
Another major change that can often be swept under the rug, so to speak, is the change in the format of courses. As most know, last semester was a challenge for most with having to do classes completely online. With some classes in-person this semester, there were different regulations and protocols that had to be followed by the college based on the state’s mandates.
One thing that changed was the formatting of classes and how the desks must be spread apart with no physical interaction during class. This would be, for example, getting into a small group and working on a project.
Lastly, for residential students living in dorms, this has been a major change. Normally, students could have many guests in dorms if they filled out a form and escorted them around. With the pandemic, no off-campus guests are allowed, and residential students are only allowed to have students from other residential dorms on-campus.
“Having to do be in the room with masks on is different and something I never would have expected,” Rebecca Webb ’24 said. “I think it is a little odd only having residential guests and wearing a mask on with other residential guests in our rooms and is something I never expected.”
As of March 16th, President Fugate released a statement for the fall semester saying that the college is planning on having an in person structure and a full-return of the student body for in-person instruction, which in turn would eliminate the zoom-to-campus option. Things are starting to look better amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will hopefully be back to normal sooner than later.