As the spring 2020 semester for colleges came to a sudden halt, many were left worried about the fate of the fall.
It’s safe to say that no one expected a worldwide pandemic to occur at the beginning of a new decade— the decade that was supposed to be a fresh start for everyone. Just when we all expected the worst for the fall 2020 semester, schools began announcing their plans to bring students back to campus safely and efficiently.
Notre Dame notified students in mid-May of their decision to begin the fall 2020 semester two weeks earlier than planned and end the semester just before Thanksgiving. Following Notre Dame came Syracuse and South Carolina, who also announced that they would be ending their semesters before the November holiday, as well. Most recently, Ohio State announced that they, too, would be resuming in-person classes.
Ohio State also announced that they would be having their football season, with the restriction of selling half the amount of tickets they normally do.
All schools that have announced their reopening plans so far are dedicated to maintaining hygiene, social distancing, controlled traffic and increased virus testing. Because schools want to limit the amount of times students leave and arrive on campus, classes and final exams will take place remotely after Thanksgiving.
Stephanie Asher, a sophomore majoring in hospitality management at Penn State University, says that she would not enroll in the fall 2020 semester if Penn State chooses to operate remotely.
“If school was online in the fall, I would take a semester off,” says Asher. “It is so hard to learn through a computer. It’s also too expensive for what I would be getting out of it, especially being out of state. I obviously would prefer school to go back to normal, but if the choice is between completely online or in person until Thanksgiving, I would choose going back for a shorter period of time.”
Olivia Weiss, a sophomore majoring in rehabilitation and human services, says that she would still enroll in classes if they were strictly remote, but feels it would be a poor decision on the university’s part.
“I think that even if some bigger classes are remote, it would be a good way to ease everyone back into going to classes in-person,” says Weiss. “If they choose to be fully remote, however, it would be a bad decision and may cause for many people to take a leave of absence as other schools have already decided on going back.”
Ohio State’s announcement of their plans has given hope to the Penn State community that they, too, will be able to return to Happy Valley. After all, us Big Ten schools have to stick together in the end, right?
Official announcements for the fate of Penn State’s fall 2020 semester are expected to arrive on June 15th.