COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- We are less than 2 months away from the start of school for thousands of college students across the state, but what will this new school year look like?
University of South Carolina students will physically return to campus in the Fall, but the way of life students once knew on campus will change.
UofSC students have been away from campus since March and have depended on online learning since then.
“You’re basically teaching yourself. The teachers do the best they can, but however many students you have you have to reach them by email,” said Alexis Mitchum, a rising junior at the university.
That academic gap is part of the reason behind the push to return to face to face instruction. Before students can get back to campus life there are changes they need to know about.
Jon Gerber, a USC grad student, outlined some of the big changes he’s aware of. “Making sure we are wearing masks, we’re taking care of ourselves now before we get back to campus, minimize the risk around us because now is not the time to be selfish.”
All students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in campus buildings like the library and in classrooms.
COVID-19 testing is also required for those returning to campus and the university is stressing the importance of contact tracing to prevent spread. Students will return to campus in a phased process and schedules will be staggered.
USC students say they don’t mind the changes because returning to campus is essential in their success.
Bobby Nowicki added, “The online classes is much different than the in person instruction, which I don’t like all that much. I’d much rather be in a classroom than in front of a computer screen.”
Gerber continued, “I’m excited to get back to campus, but it’s very important to take the safety precautions in to consideration.”
Several study abroad programs have also been canceled as a result of the coronavirus and key buildings on campus like the student union are also closed until further notice.
As part of this plan, students who violate shelter and safety orders put in place by the city of Columbia, where campus is located, could also face disciplinary action from the school.