As Seton Hall students and faculty battle cabin fever during the coronavirus pandemic, they reflected on what they miss most about being on campus.
The little moments and memories
Recent graduate Sarah Bright, who majored in marketing, said she will miss the mundane moments, like “seeing familiar faces, running into your friends and going to class.”
Daniel Dalbey, a sophomore communications major, said his favorite memories took place in Aquinas Hall.
“My entire friend group from freshman year was built there in the first week,” Dalbey said. “I spent most of my time there, too. My dorm was another one of my safe havens and all of my friends conjugated there, which made it even better.”
Learning and teaching face-to-face
Once students and faculty returned home after the University canceled in-person classes, many had to adjust to online classes. Most classes were held on Microsoft Teams, an app that allows professors to lecture and interact with their classes via video chat.
Dalbey said he struggled to adjust as he was less motivated to attend online classes.
“It was difficult to get out of bed in the morning knowing that all I had to do was get my laptop in order to join a class,” Dalbey said.
These struggles were not limited to students, as Kaitlin Tonti, an adjunct professor in the department of English, said she had some apprehensions about online classes due to her concerns about communicating with students outside of class.
“Being able to see that person definitely helps me to connect with them better so that I can get a greater sense of what they need and what I can actually do to help,” Tonti said. “Some of that is lost in email.”
Clubs and activities
Bright, a sister of Alpha Phi, said the sisters devoted some of their time on campus to philanthropy. She said the sorority had raised money for women’s cardiac health by holding a dance-a-thon and bake sale. The sorority also had sisterhood events, like beach trips, rollerblading and their soccer tournament “Alpha FIFA.”
Before the pandemic, a popular activity for students was attending the men’s basketball games at the Prudential Center. Tonti said she is a huge fan of the University’s basketball team and was sad that the season had to end early.
Tonti reflected on how the Green brings a sense of community to SHU.
“When we look out the window at this time of the year, all the students are usually on the Green, playing frisbee, throwing a ball around, sitting on blankets and studying with their Dunkin’ in their hands,” Tonti said. “Just being able to see that community and know that you’re a bigger part of that community—I miss that the most.”
Both Bright and Dalbey acknowledged a professor that had an impact on them. Bright said Claire Diab, a professor of Asian Studies, and her zen and yoga class helped her “realize the power of yoga and mindfulness.”
Another faculty member Bright said she will miss is Father John Dennehy, who is often seen outside Duffy Hall saying hello to students as they walk to class. Bright said Dennehy “always put a smile on her face.”
Dalbey said he never got to thank Travis Timmerman, an assistant professor for the department of philosophy. He said Timmerman “was super down-to-earth and very understanding during all of this.”
Victoria Rossi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.