As the fall semester approaches and a vaccine for COVID-19 is still in the works, Texas A&M has prepared new campus rules regarding health and safety to encourage student safety as they return in August.
These changes include wearing masks on campus, required sanitization of classrooms, remote options for all courses and a 30-minute break between classes to limit contact.
Journalism senior Collin Koenig said he feels A&M has been very open and honest with the guidelines and university expectations since the pandemic first started.
“I think having the option of class being remote can definitely help out a lot of students,” Koenig said. “I know a lot of students with auto-immune diseases are happy with the remote class option.”
Koenig also said he agrees with Texas A&M’s decision of ending in person classes after Thanksgiving.
“Timing out the semester to where students will be home after Thanksgiving is vital, especially since scientists are predicting the second wave of COVID-19 to hit during winter break,” Koenig said.
While this isn’t the college experience most students were expecting, Koenig said he feels it is the same quality of education with a little twist.
“A&M has done the best they could with the current situation, even offering refunds for students when other colleges were kicking their students off-campus,” Koenig said.
International studies senior Gabrielle Beausoleil said she is glad students and faculty are required to wear masks and practice social distancing on campus.
“If these rules aren’t put in place then most people will choose to not wear a mask or social distance because it’s uncomfortable,” Beausoleil said. “People want to live life per usual, but we have to face our new reality and accept that we are living in a pandemic, and with that comes sacrifices.”
Beausoleil said she feels Texas hasn’t set any strict regulations on wearing masks and social distancing which has resulted in an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“Putting these rules into place at A&M is a step in the right direction to making sure that the students and faculty are taking the necessary precautions,” Beausoleil said.
Though Beausoileil said she agrees with the health and safety rules and regulations, she will not be attending classes on campus this fall.
“I didn’t sign a lease to live in College Station this fall because I was supposed to be studying abroad in France, but I’ve decided not to go because of the pandemic,” Beausoleil said. “I would probably still do online classes, because of my weakened immune system. I would rather be cautious and try to prevent myself from going to public areas.”
Communication senior Sophia Berry said she appreciates the new regulations A&M has implemented to keep students safe during this pandemic, but there is one rule that she wishes A&M would implement this fall.
“The only rule I wish TAMU would make is requiring students to get tested, so that students who are actively contagious do not enhance the spread on campus,” Berry said.
Though the upcoming semester holds uncertainty for A&M students, Beausoleil said her peers should get creative to make this year great.
“I definitely think that students can still get a good college experience during this time, they just have to adjust to the new reality and figure out a way to make the best of their college years,” Beausoleil said.