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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

On returning to campus


After a completely virtual fall semester, Loyola remains persistent on opening campus to students in the spring. The University’s stricter course of action as compared to its previous reopening plan for the fall—including restricting dorm visitors to two individuals from the same building, setting a “CARP” (Campus Arrival Restriction Period) prior to the beginning of classes, and enacting rigid testing protocols— has made returning to campus feel more realistic. 

However, even with social distancing and frequent testing, there is always an increased risk of infection by returning to campus during a pandemic. Anxiety surrounding the second wave of COVID-19 that is plaguing the country has already led students to make the decision to continue taking classes from home.

While I want to be optimistic about a return to campus, I remain skeptical of Loyola’s ability to enforce the new regulations and remain open safely, especially with access to Baltimore. I think it will be a difficult task to incentivize students to follow protocols, especially after months of not seeing friends.

However, I think that the excitement circling around a return to campus overshadows a lot of students’ apprehension. Although I still felt a connection to Loyola during the online semester due to the nature of small classes, the continuation of clubs and extracurriculars, and the guest speakers via Zoom, there are campus experiences that video calls were unable to replace. Students are aching for personal connections with their peers and professors.

Being away from Loyola for almost a year has made me appreciate my classes, friends, professors, and the opportunities offered by the University and within Baltimore more than ever. Thus, although the hybrid nature of courses only includes meeting once a week per class, I think in-person interaction will be appreciated by all students knowing that the alternative is not so great. Personally, I am hopeful that the in-person addition to some classes will restore the motivation and excitement that sometimes faded.

An end to online classes, however, includes more than just receiving an in-person education. Rather, students are excited to return to the community found within Loyola. 

“I’m so excited to be back on campus to see friends, sit on the Humanities porch, and have some in-person classes,” said Clare Leeper ’23.

There is comfort in knowing that Loyola has spent the last few months working diligently to ensure a safe environment on campus. And while it’s hard to imagine how campus life will actually be—with so many questions unanswered, especially around the social aspect— I think that a return to campus will facilitate a sense of normalcy needed by all students.

Featured Image courtesy of Emma Shulzhenko via Unsplash

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On returning to campus