Over the course of the last two semesters, Saint Joseph’s as well as other universities, have had to adjust in ways that nobody expected. Most students opted to learn fully online while some have opted for more of a hybrid approach, with the hope that classes could potentially go back to being fully in person, but that wasn’t the case. Adjusting how we were being taught wasn’t the only thing that students had to get used to. Many of our social aspects that make Saint Joseph’s such a great school were held virtually or weren’t held at all. In person events that are held by various groups of student life were reduced significantly and as a result of this, life on campus took a hit.
Unfortunately, student life events were not the only thing that took a major hit during this COVID school year. Gatherings in our dining halls were reduced to limited capacity at tables or were even prohibited if cases on campus rose too high. The experiences that students have in our dining halls are such an important part of campus life. For me personally, getting lunch with friends and seeing other students that I wouldn’t normally see on a regular basis was always an enjoyable experience. Catching up and talking about sports or our personal lives was always refreshing and a nice escape from all of the work we had to do. This same experience has shifted students’ ability to socialize in our library as well, where one half of it has been closed for most of the year, and areas that are open have limited seating.
Sights Set on the Fall Semester
Although life on campus has been impacted significantly, there is some encouraging news. On March 31st, the school announced that this coming fall semester, restrictions in classes, events on campus, and social gatherings, among others will be lifted or significantly reduced. In the release, some highlighted ease of restrictions include, but are not limited to: The return of full week long fall and winter break, possibility of study abroad programs, return of intramurals, and the easing as a whole of distancing restrictions. For the incoming class of 2025, it is also expected that their orientation will be able to be held in person to some capacity. This email comes as good news for all students and faculty as we look to move forward, but at the same time not forget what this year taught us about how life can change in an instant.
Overall, while the school looks to move ahead to a better year next year, we can’t assume everything will be completely back to normal on campus. As said in the email, we will need to continue to adapt to this new normal, and some things may take longer than others to return back fully. However, this email provides some of the best news SJU students have received in a while, and incoming and returning students should look forward to a much more normal school year in the fall.