By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer
On Oct. 16, The Washington College Response Team sent an email to the WC community that announced that they had “re-evaluated [their] housing model and determined that [they] can accommodate all students who wish to live on campus during the spring semester.”
This email came as an update to the original decision announced on Oct. 5 via email that they would only be accepting 450 students back to campus for the spring semester.
While some students celebrated this decision, others were still ambivalent to the idea of returning back to campus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These reasons varied from, but still focused on the much-needed reunion, or acceptance of a disunion, with their friends.
“I am staying home. If we are online, partying, and seeing people it is still unsafe. Why would I pay to eat their terrible food,” junior Madison Nutter said.
“[I’m] staying home, I don’t trust the plan, and COVID-19 is only going to get worse in the winter,” senior Mahin Zaman said.
“I’m planning to return to campus because I don’t love living with my parents several states away from most of my friends. I am also an RA and I want to help students stay safe and mentally sane in these super weird times,” junior Faith Waaramaa said.
“I am staying home. I do not think it’s worth it if we are going to be online. I also have a job at home so that way I can go to school and continue working to pay off the car I just bought,” sophomore Erica Eckholm said.
“I am returning to campus next semester. Home life is tough with four people all on the same DSL wifi connection, so it’s definitely going to be nice to have a private space of my own with reliable wifi. I’ve also just missed seeing my friends in person. Even if we are six feet apart, it’ll be so much nicer than a computer screen,” senior Will Hewitt said.
“I am returning to campus. It is hard for me to focus at home. But I am also sad that I don’t get to see my friends, and I am alone in the house all the time so it will be a nice change,” junior Julia Clifton said.
Regardless of the unanimous social themes, the decision granted students more autonomy to decide and judge their preferred academic environment. Their responses to COVID-19, regardless of their attitude, are shown to be deeply rooted within the strong sense of community at WC.
Featured Photo caption: With COVID-19 still an issue, students have to make a difficult decision. Should they stay stuck at home? Or risk returning to campus? Photo by Izze Rios.