Augustana College students, staff start fall semester

TV6 spoke with students about how they felt about being back on campus and the required guidelines the school set in place.
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 11:43 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - College students across the nation and in the Quad Cities are starting their fall semester. Monday marked the first day of class for Augustana College. TV6 spoke with students about how they felt about being back on campus and the required guidelines the school set in place.

“It feels great to be back on campus and to be able to be in like the college setting again,” Caroline Sorenson said. “They’re doing their best to give us the experience that we signed up for and like came here for but also being safe.”

The college released requirements in regards to student conduct, on and off-campus, last week. Among the list is a requirement for those living on campus to not leave college grounds until September 14th unless urgent necessities can’t be obtained through other means. In addition to size limitations on gatherings, the guideline also limits restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venue visits to places with outdoor spaces.

“They formulated different protocols to keep us safe, to keep them safe, because they want us on campus as well. We want to stay on campus because we want the college experience. I think they’re doing a really good job of it so far, you know? It’s easier cause we’re a smaller school,” Sorenson said.

Kassidy Belcher, a senior, also likes the approach. After the pandemic prematurely ended her study abroad in Ireland during the 2020 spring semester she says she is glad to be back.

“It’s very exciting for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually had in-person classes here,” she said. “I’m so happy with their approach. I tell everyone that I was really excited to get my welcome box which had masks in it, thermometers, hand sanitizer, face shield, everything. That’s not something I was always excited about, but I was so excited to get it.”

Belcher also said the students seem to be adjusting to the new learning experience.

“We’ve been keeping our social distance and it seems like everyone has been willing to do that. I haven’t seen any complaints lately so it’s exciting,” she said.

As they navigate through college and COVID, Belcher said it’ll take a collaborative effort to make it work.

“We’re really going to have to work together to stay open cause I know no one wants us to close back up so it’s definitely going to be a team effort. A school effort,” she said, “...but I think we can do it if we continue to work together.”

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