Beginning next semester, some classes will transition back to in person. This may affect the living capacity and the number of students choosing to live in Illinois State University residence halls.
“We anticipate that many of the students who currently live in the residence halls will likely return to their on-campus living arrangements for the spring semester,” Director of Media Relations Eric Jome said.
“Students living in off-campus apartments will likely return in the spring, as they have already signed leases for those spaces. Even with the limited in-person classes and activities, many students have indicated that they want to be in the campus community.”
It is definitely a challenge for students to be involved and make friends on campus this year due to COVID-19. However, the university is working hard to provide numerous activities for students to participate in while also following safety guidelines.
“Despite the fact that this is not a normal time and that the campus experience we all know from the past is not complete, students, faculty, and staff have shown a real resilience in adapting to the situation,” Jome said.
The university has already began discussing plans and procedures for the spring semester and how to make campus an enjoyable place to be while also being safe. This includes working with the University of Illinois to bring saliva-based testing to campus.
“The plans for spring include an increased program for testing,” Jome said.
“That will provide an expanded capacity for regular testing of the campus community. Increased testing procedures will be implemented at the start of the semester as students return and in conjunction with spring break.”
Riley Nebel, a freshman double majoring in agronomy management and horticulture and landscape management, loves the campus community at ISU.
“If all classes were online I would still come back because I love the atmosphere of ISU,” Nebel said. “I’m coming back just because home is very boring and I want to get my full college experience even if COVID affects it.”
Because of COVID-19 preventing activities from happening, many students decided to stay home.
“With classes being all online I had made the decision to stay home because since things such as clubs and sports aren’t happening there’s not much to do,” freshman Cristina Del Val said.
“Along with this it has been difficult to make friends and it does get a little tough not being able to talk face to face with others. I think it would be a better idea for me to come back next year to campus when, hopefully, in person classes begin and more things are opened up.”
University Housing anticipates the spring semester to be fairly similar to this semester with social distancing, masks and cleaning.
“With the continued presence of COVID-19, we anticipate a semester similar to the current fall with regards to physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, face coverings and in-person [and] virtual events for our residents,” Assistant Director for Marketing and Assessment Edsel D. Campbell said.
Spring semester is approaching quickly and there are steps that need to be taken to live on campus next semester.
“The first day students can sign a housing contract to live on campus for the spring semester is Nov. 4, which is coming up soon,” Campbell said.