Photo courtesy of Julian Rocha
As the fall semester 2021 draws to a close, students and staff at Hofstra have started to reflect on the final months and the spring semester ahead.
“I didn’t expect to see so many people here,” said Adam Yusupov, a young music major.
“I really felt like it was more crowded than when I first came here,” said Jade Shepardson, computer science major.
However, while some students enjoyed the campus at full capacity, others felt that Hofstra may have made the wrong choice about how it reopened.
Junior computer science major Jordan Miner felt overwhelmed by Hofstra’s reopening due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and felt the university may have rushed to open.
Students shared mixed opinions on how the people at Hofstra behaved when taking security measures.
“We are all vaccinated, I took COVID tests,” Yusupov said. He also added that he stays home when he feels sick to keep others safe.
However, not everyone agrees that the Hofstra community is doing their best to protect each other.
“There’s hardly any social distancing anymore,” Shepardson said. “People have become very lax with masks, including me. ”
“I really think the students could protect themselves more,” Miner said.
Miner and Shepardson both shared concerns about stations like the self-service salad and soup bar, where germs are much easier to spread, especially if precautionary measures are not followed.
However, despite these concerns, Hofstra’s Together Again dashboard shows how many COVID-19 tests have been administered and a total number of positive results. There were 57 positive results in total out of 12,209 COVID-19 tests administered on campus from Friday August 27 to Friday December 3.
Colin Sullivan, director of student affairs communications, said that although the community is going through “pandemic fatigue,” the Hofstra student body has done a great job in keeping the number of cases low. The students cooperated by taking steps to stay safe, such as participating in surveillance tests, following Guide to Pride procedures, getting vaccinated and wearing masks if necessary.
As the number of cases dwindles and Hofstra has opened at full capacity, students have differing opinions on the continued use of Zoom as an education tool.
“We should start moving away from Zoom,” Yusupov said. “A lot of people pay a lot of money to go to this school.”
However, others have expressed that Zoom has its place for learning and can still be used by those who need it. Shepardson expressed belief in the usefulness of Zoom but felt that it should be limited to those who need to use it, such as students living in other countries, people with certain religious beliefs, and people who are immunocompromised.
“I think we should always use it for summer school,” said Jordan Miner, a junior computer science student.
Speaking of regulations such as the visitor policy, Shepardson said, “It would be nice to have more people in the dorm. It would also be nice to have people who are not just Hofstra students.
Since COVID-19 still looms large in the daily lives of students, other students are more reluctant to see big changes. Some students worry about the new variant, while others see the variants as a part of everyday life when dealing with COVID-19.
“I’m not too worried considering the precautions I’ve already taken and we’ve had other variations in the past so I feel like this is another one of those variations. [variants]”Yusupov said.
Sullivan also said that when it comes to Hofstra’s future and the Spring 2022 semester, it’s a bit early on what to expect. Hofstra will continue to follow CDC, WHO and White House guidelines.
“I am always amazed at the number of students I see wearing masks outside as they go to class. The reality is that our students have the power to keep our rooms open or to jeopardize the residential community experience. We never had to consider closing our rooms or suspending classes. It’s a real and tangible achievement, ”said Beth McGuire, Senior Assistant Dean and Director of Residence Life.