By Tyler Miller
Georgia Southern University has been operating on a split of in-person classes and online classes since August 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced many professors and students to go home during the previous semester.
But on March 5 2021, an email was sent out to professors and students from GS president Kyle Marrero. The email said that for the fall 2021 semester, GS is planning for a full return to campus.
This entails resuming “normal” operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations. He also said that the university will continue to provide regular updates about their operations, vaccine availability, and public health issues important to their communities.
Students and professors at the university talked about what they thought about the proposed return to normalcy next semester, and what changes we might see.
Shana Bridges, a communication studies professor, said that she didn’t have a whole lot of information on what changes will be made next semester, but has an idea of what it will look like.
“I am under the impression that something ‘nearer to normal’ in the fall means most classes will be face to face, and we will not have covid caps on our classrooms,” said Bridges.
Bridges went on to say that she is not sure if students and faculty will still be required to wear masks in buildings, but that it’s a possibility. She then talked about what she thinks we might see when it comes to vaccinations.
“I would like to think those of us who have been immunized won’t have to teach in a mask at least,” Bridges said. “There will still most likely not be the requirement to be immunized/show proof of immunization. The push by administrators is to have most classes face-to-face with fewer online courses. Zoom may still be an option, but it will probably be based on instructor discretion.”
Allison Hoffman, a student at GS, talked about how she feels about the proposed return to normal next semester.
“I’m personally happy that we’re returning to in person because COVID made my freshman year be rather lacking since I wasn’t able to experience the normal freshman experience, so I’m excited to be able to have a normal sophomore year,” said Hoffman.