Writer: Kiara Suero
Joseph Mamaril, full time undergraduate student.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 outbreak has gripped the nation by leaving many people struggling financially, mentally and emotionally. Undergraduate students are no strangers to these struggles. Many have had to adjust their lives to handle six classes, jobs and dealing with their own personal lives.
“Honestly, it’s been very difficult for the most part. I have a job and the things that I am involved in on campus make it really difficult to juggle activities and school work,” said Shania Mosquera, a sophomore marketing management major.
In August 2020, it was announced that many universities across New Jersey would not be holding in-person classes and instead, would shift towards a fully online curriculum for Fall 2020. Saint Peter’s University, however, allowed students the option to move onto campus.
Mosquera is one of the many students who made the decision to reside on campus for the Fall 2020 semester despite the ongoing pandemic because she is a Resident Assistant on-campus who oversees and helps assist students.
“I don’t regret being on campus because I feel like it makes me more connected to student life. I am grateful for my position as a resident assistant. It gives me leeway to interact with students and become an aid for them during these difficult times,” added Mosquera.
Many students on and off-campus are finding it difficult to adjust to a completely virtual semester. Mosquera finds it difficult to remain focused and attentive during zoom classes, when she’s visiting her family at home and juggling many different things.
In a google form poll that was sent through emails, Saint Peter’s University students were asked questions regarding their current and future thoughts on campus life.
To no surprise students do find virtual learning more difficult than in person learning. However, more students prefer online learning over in-person learning. Lastly, when students were asked how they would want next semester to be conducted, the majority of them choose to stay fully online.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a number of different regulations universities must abide by inorder for them to remain open and house students. Saint Peter’s University has implemented many rules such as limited cafe occupancy, social distance, limited seating arrangements, guest policy restrictions and more. However, they have still been trying to serve and cater to student life on campus in the safest manner possible.
“We’ve been doing grab and go events. Where students average time of being there is 8 minutes. We set up socially distant tables and take the necessary precautions,” said Mosquerra. “Even though it’s a very different way of us hosting events, we still have been trying to keep that as our main goal to avoid any issues.”
Although times are difficult, Universities everywhere have been trying to keep students as safe as possible, while trying to bring back some normalcy in their everyday routines to alleviate these stressful times. Even though the future of Universities housing students may be unknown as the ongoing pandemic continues. As of right now, Saint Peter’s University planning a hybrid format for spring 2021 with student life on campus.
For more information on a student’s perspective watch my Interview with Shania Mosquera below!