COVID-19 guidelines at colleges generate mixed emotions


Natasha Taubenheim '22

Fairfield University has new rules and requirements due to COVID-19, one being having to wear a mask at all times.

Throughout months of social distancing and taking precautions to avoid COVID-19, there has been much uncertainty surrounding whether students should return to school. Some schools decided to become fully remote this fall, while others left students and families with a difficult decision to make. Would they return to school and risk the possibility of contracting the virus? 

College is stressful enough, but now with the health protocols and COVID-19 news, it can be even more overwhelming for students. Lili Romann ’19 is a student at the University of Connecticut and finds herself conflicted about the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions at her school, especially the new system in the dining hall. 

“There are circles that you can stand on and you can’t really move and there are arrows directing you on where you can go,” Romann said.

Fairfield University has set up their outdoor dining area so that the seats are distanced, reducing the probability of getting the virus for students and staff. (Lily Klau ’23)

Romann claims she and her fellow students are adapting to the changes. 

“For the most part, people are taking [the protocols] seriously. There are no opportunities to not follow the rules,” Romann said.

Even with most students abiding by the restrictions, COVID-19 is always looming over their heads. Jackson Daignault ’18 is now a student at Providence College. He knew it was inevitable that colleges would struggle with COVID. 

“I would say it was more anticipation, like I knew that it was only a matter of time before it came to Providence or anywhere I am,” Daignault said. 

Even though Providence has strict protocols, a large spike in cases has recently forced the entire campus to quarantine.

The idea of contracting COVID-19 also made parents worried to send their children back to school. A Staples alumni who is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin tested positive for the virus. Her dad, Rob Bolandian, felt uneasy being so far away from his sick daughter.

“I was obviously concerned when she got the virus,” Bolandian said. “I continue to be concerned because no one knows for sure that you can’t get it again.”

One of Fairfield University’s new requirements is to constantly ensure that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms through a system called LiveSafe. (Natasha Taubenheim ’22)

Some high school students have also been forced to adjust to a new reality with their siblings away at school. Despite many precautions being made at colleges, the families of these students are anxious about their family members returning to school.

“I am a little nervous about my sister getting corona,” Grace Alfero ’23 said, “but I think that by following the rules and being careful, she can avoid it.”