Fairfield University had students on campus for most of the fall semester of the 2020-2021 school year, longer than most of the students and faculty expected. Most students have now departed from campus for the Thanksgiving break. However, the original plan was for students to have the option to return to campus after Thanksgiving break to finish their classes and the remainder of the semester. Although the students had a choice, many individuals were making the decision to not come back after the break because they did not see the point in taking online classes inside their residence halls. Nearly a week before break, the University informed students and faculty about the change in the post-Thanksgiving break plan. Students were no longer able to come back on campus due to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases on and off campus.

Throughout the semester, the University strived to keep their students secure and comfortable. They updated the dashboard on the Fairfield University website in order to inform others of the number of COVID-19 cases on and off campus. Despite the University trying to keep the community informed, the students were not fully satisfied with the information and plans. The students felt like the University could do more for the community regarding displaying sufficient information on both the cases and resultant plans for on-campus students. 

The topic of whether or not to stay on campus was very common throughout the University community, especially during class discussions. After speaking with several students, it seemed that half of the Stag community would much rather be on campus, whereas the other half is fine with being home. There have been loads of opinions about this whole situation. 

There are many changes that the students and faculty have to adjust to when it comes to Zoom calls, discussion boards, office hours, etc. Now that most students are continuing the last few weeks of classes fully online, in the comfort of their own homes, there have been some serious changes in study plans, as well as an increased hope that things will be better come the spring semester. 

“The last weeks of classes have been overwhelming, to say the least,” said Emily Miller ‘23. “It’s been much more difficult for me to complete my assignments at home rather than on campus because I feel less motivated. I have to give myself a push to keep up the good work when it gets to the end. I hope to finish with strong final grades and an easier transition to the spring semester.” 

The students and faculty are very important to the University, which is why they continue to make changes in order to satisfy the needs of the community as well as keep them safe. The students are being very supportive in order to safely return on campus for the spring semester. 

“I really enjoy being on campus, and I hope we will be able to return to take in-person classes for the spring semester. It would really benefit me, and I know it will for other students,” shared Melisa Dauti ‘23.  “I love the Fairfield University campus and hope to see it everyday for the next semester.”

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