First week presents unique difficulties for education

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Photo by Claire Gallagher

Students walk around campus with masks to protect themselves and others.

Marquette officially started in-person classes Aug. 26 after being forced to end in-person instruction last semester early due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, students returned to campus under many new guidelines, such as social distancing. 

“This definitely isn’t a regular semester for me,” Kelly Tite, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said in an email. “I feel like everything I would normally be doing has changed.” 

Tite said a majority of her classes are online, with one hybrid class meeting in person once a week every other week.

“In addition, some of the classes that I was supposed to have synchronous lectures for have been canceled or changed to pre-recorded lectures where no real ‘class’ is required,” Tite said in an email. “I think the classes will still be rigorous, but it is unfortunate to keep getting less and less class time while paying full price and being on campus.”

Tite said she believes that her learning has been compromised with all the changes to her classes and campus because it’s “not the same experience.”

“I think I learn differently in a live classroom versus online through a computer,” Tite said in an email. “Either way I am learning but I would definitely say for me being in a classroom is better since I am more alert and driven, versus sitting in my house or dorm and doing school via my computer.”

According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has tracked the reopening model for 3,000 institutions, 2.3% of schools are fully in person, 19% are primarily in person, 16% are hybrid, 27% are primarily online, 6% are fully online, 6% are other and 24% are are to be determined.

For example, Boston College another Jesuit university, is currently holding primarily in person classes.

Tite said the residence halls are very different with the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus.

“The way the dining halls work is very different, with not being able to dine with friends and clubs and other extracurriculars are all online,” Tite said in an email.

Zoee Arreguin, a sophomore in the College of Communication has been trying to find her footing since getting back to campus.

“It’s been a little challenging trying to balance everything because it’s been so long since I’ve had so many responsibilities,” Zoee Arreguin, a sophomore in the College of Communications.

Arreguin feels that her professors have been well prepared, despite the pandemic, which has been a major help in adjusting to this new learning format.

Ethan Jacoby-Henrickson, a first-year in the College of Communication, said the semester will be unique not only due to online classes, but social distancing as well. Jacoby-Henrickson said he has a hybrid mix of classes.

“Most of my theatre major classes are in person, which makes sense and my ‘core’ classes are mainly online,” Jacoby-Henrickson said in an email. 

Jacoby-Henrickson also said he believes his learning is being compromised.

“I know at least in my Acting 1 class, we will have to social distance on the stage, so that might be detrimental to our class,” Jacoby-Henrickson said in an email. “Another thing is there have been some technical difficulties in classes that have delayed class, but just minimally.” 

Tite is living on campus in Eckstein Hall. She said the move-in process was very quick and easy.

Jacoby-Henrickson described move-in as “very streamlined.”

“It was nice to quickly get my stuff to my room and I was able to unpack in about the allotted time,” he said.  

So far, Tite said she believes students are following the social distancing guidelines that have been put in place and are being responsible in regards to all the COVID-19 precautions. 

“I do think that some of the precautions that Marquette has put in place are actually making students choose other avenues which could easily spread to a breakout, but there is no other choice if students want to socialize with their friends,” Tite said in an email. “For example, many of the students have been eating their meals outside on the grass with larger groups of people because of the one person seating limitation in the dining hall.” 

Tite believes all the rules that have been put in place are great, but they can also lead students to make “potentially worse decisions to get out of their dorms to socialize and live somewhat of a normal college life.” 

Jacoby-Henrickson also agrees students are following the social distancing precautions.

“As far as I know, everyone is wearing their masks and social distancing,” Jacoby-Henrickson said in an email.

This story was written by Matthew Choate. He can be reached at [email protected]