Life inside of Schroeder Hall

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Photo by Joceline Helmbrek

Residence of Schroeder Hall wrote notes on their windows with post-it notes.

It was a birthday to remember for Marissa Sullivan, a sophomore in the College of Nursing. Sullivan spent her 20th birthday quarantined in Schroeder Hall, with hundreds of other students who must remain until Sept. 28.

Sullivan, who’s birthday was last Wednesday, said she thought she was going to be spending the day with her family and friends, but plans changed when it was announced Sept. 17 that residents of Schroeder Hall would have to quarantine  for two week due to 3% of the hall testing positive for COVID-19.

Sullivan said she was nervous about going home to her family, which led to her and her roommates decision not to quarantine at their homes and spend the next two weeks inside of Shroerder.

But many students who lived in Schroeder Hall decided to go back home, despite both the university’s and medical expert Anthony Fauci’s advice not to. Fauci said that it is the “worst thing you can do,” according to an interview on “Today”.

Sullivan and her roommate put up post-it notes that said, “it’s my birthday” on her window, which faces the Alumni Memorial Union.

“It was fun when people would walk by and scream ‘happy birthday’ throughout the day,” Sullivan said. “My floor set up a Zoom call meeting … and they all surprised me and left little notes on my door.”

Other students inside of the sophomore residence hall have not had the same positive outlook. Other post-it note signs in the windows of the building spell out “send help” and “is this Hell?”

“Everyone here is pissed off that we’re staying here, and can’t see any of our friends,” Kate Beltram, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said.

Beltram has spent her time in quarantine confined to her room, only leaving to use the bathroom and go to the dining hall.

“I wake up … I do my classes and literally just watch Netflix and YouTube and play my PS4 until I have homework to do,” Beltram said.

Food in Shroeder is provided through Sodexo and a the menu changes daily. Students can come down during an allotted time and choose whatever they want to eat, said Alex Abendschein, a marketing manager for Sodexo.

“We continue to offer gluten-free options as we always have. For students that are vegan and vegetarian we have worked with our vendor partners to bring Morning Star Farms Incogmeato products into Schroeder as an additional vegan/vegetarian friendly option,” Abendschein said in an email.

Hope Johnson, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences appreciates the variety that Shroeder has.

“They always have breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, and bakery items for breakfast. Then for lunch and dinner they always have chicken Parmesan and Caesar salad, some sort of panini, and usually veggie burgers,” Johnson said in an email.

Schroeder residents were also notified that all students inside the building would have to be tested for COVID-19.

“We got e-mailed the night before saying that we would be tested,” said Zach Madson, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said. “They told us, ‘we’re gonna start at 8:30 a.m., so get ready to wake up.'”

Madson said that one by one all 182 Schroeder residence were tested, started with the top floors going down.

Testing took place right outside, where testers from the Marquette Medical Clinic were waiting in full personal protective equipment with nasopharyngeal tests for the residents of the building.

The nasopharyngeal test involves sticking a swab up a patient’s nose to swab the back of their throat for up a few seconds. The residents got their results back within 24 hours.

Madson, who tested negative, said that anyone who tested positive was told they had two hours to pack their belongings and move to Mashuda Hall to quarantine.

Schroeder residents, with supervision, are allowed an allotted time outside by signing up for 50-minute increments. They are required to socially distance in spray painted circles and wear masks in a fenced-off area outside by the AMU.

Students who are not quarantined in Schroeder have also been trying their hardest to try and see friends who are quarantined inside the residence hall.

“I’ve gotten some pretty incredible support from my family and friends,” Kaitlyn Kohler, a sophomore in the College of Communications, said.  “Every so often someone will see me and wave to my window asking if I need anything.”

Kohler also said that she’s thankful for everyone who’s come by to make this situation a little more bearable.

Natalija Mileusnic contributed to this report.

This story was written by Benjamin Wells. He can be reached at benjamin.wells@marquette.edu.