BISMARCK -- After an abrupt end to campus life during the spring semester, North Dakota college students are eager to get back to school this fall but nervous for how campus life will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In the past weeks, universities across the nation have released plans for returning to campus and in-person classes.
Most schools have adopted a hybrid model, allowing for students to choose how much time they are in class in-person. Madison Wood of Crary, N. She said more than anything, being back on campus with her friends and peers will provide a sense of normalcy, even though the semester will look different.
But I hope that everyone is able to stay healthy. She said sending Madison back to school brings mixed feelings, as she wants her to have the freedoms of any college student, but she also wants her to stay safe and healthy.
She said many of her peers fear recent outbreaks will lead to the school going online for the entirety of the fall semester. Schools have also established face mask rules for students, staff and visitors to campus. Madison Wood said she understands the rules, but she and her friends think it will be weird not recognizing their peers walking through campus. Marquette said she hopes UND will have adequate testing available for students as the best way of keeping the virus from spreading.
Marquette said when she was first sent home from school in March, she was nervous about going out in public and potentially spreading the virus. Now, she said she feels more comfortable and is excited to be back in-person for her classes.
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UND Student Body President Matthew Ternus said in an school leadership has worked hard to implement safety measures so students can return to campus. He said like at many other universities, classes will be available both in-person and online, and class sizes will be limited, in addition to other measures.
Ternus said the student experience will be different this year because of these measures, but that they are meant to "create a safe environment for everyone on campus. NDSU senior Erica Solberg of Bismarck said she appreciates her school having diversity in course selection, as it will allow her classmates to select course schedules with which they feel most comfortable.
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