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Students weigh in on the University’s rise of COVID-19 cases

As of Sept. 17, there are 158 estimated active COVID-19 cases at Seton Hall University according to the University. Students and faculty received an email last week noting that the University is prepared to pivot to remote learning and stronger safety precautions if need be. Despite the uptick in cases, some students share that they are no longer scared of COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t be scared of COVID-19 anymore,” Cameron Harrington, a sophomore finance major, said. “We are young and most of the school and population is vaccinated.”

Bianca Polizzi, a sophomore biology major, said she is not scared about COVID-19 as she feels that the classrooms are well-equipped to both be a learning space for students and protect them against the virus.

“I think that a lot of classrooms have the ability to space out the students, so for the people that are nervous about COVID-19, they can space themselves out in the room away from the rest of their class,” Polizzi said.

Students also shared their opinion on the possible switch to Hyflex learning, many saying they would prefer to stay in person. Harrington said he feels that in-person classes are better, but he also thinks that remote learning should be an option if needed.

“I prefer in-person classes, and students should be able to monitor themselves and decide when they should or shouldn’t come to class,” Harrington said. “Each teacher should have the remote learning option on [only] for sick students so that the motivation to come to class is still present.”

In terms of a stronger mask mandate, students feel that putting one in place would be ineffective at drastically stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“If they make a stronger mask mandate, people are more likely to not wear them because they are so used to not wearing it in certain places by now,” Polizzi said. “It is adolescents' natural instinct to rebel, so the odds of the student population following new mask mandates are very slim.”

Ava Ekberg, a junior public relations major, recently had COVID-19, and she described her quarantine experience in Neumann Hall as “less than ideal.”

Ekberg said she was given an hour to pack up her things to move to Neumann Hall after testing positive. She added that she had a negative experience when receiving her meals.

“There were times my food never got delivered or things would be missing,” Ekberg said. “I am fortunate to not have any allergies so I could be flexible with the food I received, but what about the students that had allergies or dietary restrictions? I often used ChatBack to message GDS about any mix-ups and they always got back to me right away, so I feel as though that feature was beneficial to my use.”

Overall, Ekberg said she powered through and tried to stay as positive as she could considering her circumstances. 

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“Quarantine was not fun, and neither was having COVID-19, but at the end of the day, you just have to work with what you got, and that’s exactly what I did.”  

Alyssa Bernhammer can be reached at alyssa.bernhammer@student.shu.edu

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