Remember when we all thought that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over within a month or two? Well, we’re now in September, and virtually everywhere we go, there are strict rules and guidelines set in place to prevent further spread of the virus that has since taken over the country. Schools are no different, including local Stockton University. One of LiteRock’s interns, Emily Steel, is now experiencing what the new college experience is like at Stockton, and I chatted with her via Zoom to find out what it's like for myself.

 

While many, if not most of the classes offered at Stockton University have been moved online, there are still classes that are held in person. For this reason, Stockton’s Administration requires students to sign a daily “Health Pledge,” which states that they do not show any Covid-19 symptoms and will stay home if otherwise. They also require students to wear masks when inside the building.

One note of concern about reopening Stockton’s campus was the large class sizes compared to their relatively small classroom sizes. “The classes are split in half, though,” our intern says. “So say a class of 30 would meet on Mondays and Wednesdays normally. Now they’ll have 15 students show up on Mondays and the other 15 on Wednesday.”

This is both an effort to limit contact between students and teachers on a day to day basis and to make social distancing possible while in the classroom. Students are only allowed to sit at labeled desks, which are distanced roughly 6 feet away from all other labeled desks. Most assignments are submitted online, and professors expect group projects to be completed by means of shared online documents and virtual communication.

The restrooms and the library have also been affected. Only two people are allowed in a bathroom at any given time, and the library is limited to 25% capacity. “I thought the library restrictions would be the worst for me since the library was always packed in previous semesters,” Steel continues, “But it actually didn’t end up being too bad. There are not too many people on campus at a given time anyways, and the amount of assignments I have to print now is basically nonexistent compared to before since it’s safer to turn in things online.”

So what does our intern think about the “new” Stockton University?  “It’s kind of sad for me, honestly,” says Steel, “You obviously can’t really socialize or talk to other students, which was a big part of what I loved about college before, you know, meeting new people and making new friends.” She continues to say, however, that she still recognizes that the new sanitization and social distancing guidelines implemented by Stockton are necessary to prevent the possible spread of the virus among students, and has even found a silver lining to the change. “I wouldn’t be comfortable coming back to Stockton if they weren’t looking out for their students like this, and at least this year I can find a parking spot!”