College students across Eastern Pennsylvania are excited to return to class in person, according to recent interviews by a student at Bucks County Community College.
The interviewee’s perspectives come in late June and align with Pennsylvania’s lifting of mask mandates on June 28.
“I believe [Bucks] is taking covid seriously and is making all the necessary steps to make students and staff feel safe during the Fall semester,” said Mark Ruffin, 26, a Video/Cinema Production student at Bucks County Community College. The school is pushing a hybrid format with classes both in-person and on Zoom for the fall.
Ruffin said that vaccines are not mandatory for coming to campus, and that he will feel “a little uneasy if fellow classmates are not vaccinated,” since he is fully vaccinated. He believes that students should still follow social distancing guidelines.
Arcadia University Art Education major Alana Gadola, 21, is excited for her school’s hybrid format. She says that in giving students the option to choose how they want to attend class, Arcadia is “really show[ing] the school’s commitment to keeping everyone safe and comfortable.”
Justina Tran, 20, a Student Ambassador for Arcadia, has been giving campus tours to visiting students and their families during the pandemic. Tran participated in the small in-person component for two of her classes this past year, and she says that Arcadia’s small class sizes, especially for her major, are what make her feel comfortable returning to class this fall.
“If I was in a class of, like, 30 [students], I would feel a little uncomfortable,” said Tran, who is a Media and Communications major and only taking media courses her senior year. “But I think that the most we’d be seeing is like 15 [students]. So that’s fine.”
English and Computer Science major Jazmin Collins, 21, said that she’s excited to be back at Arcadia in-person this fall. “I personally am very excited that we’re going back in-person because I missed the chance to do hands-on activities and classwork.”
Collins also said that she is excited to “use the resources that universities can give students that students can’t supply on their own,” referring to the technology in Arcadia’s Computer Science department, including VR headsets. She is also excited to have access to the equipment and the in-person student population to survey students for her senior thesis project.
Neumann University is also conducting classes both in-person and virtually. Junior Logan Grego, 21, said that the school is trying to push in-person classes as much as possible but that the final decision for each class is up to the professor and the students. She also said that most of her classes for her major, Business Administration, are hybrid, and one class is fully in-person.
Grego is excited to be back on campus, and she hopes students will take Covid seriously. Neumann University is requiring that students receive the Covid vaccine before coming to campus as well as continue the daily health forms for anyone entering campus.
West Chester University will be conducting classes fully in-person. Echo Rogers, 22, says that West Chester University will be cleaning classrooms on a regular basis and offering COVID tests to students who need them. In addition, “masks will still be mandated [on campus], she says.
All of the students interviewed believe masks and social distancing should still be upheld. “If we all do our part,” said Ruffin, “mask-wearing may (hopefully) be non-existent for the Spring semester.”