As the first day of class quickly approaches, one word can best describe the semester to come: unknown.
Since early March when in-person classes were canceled for the semester, students have been met with unprecedented challenges that seem to arise daily.
Not only are students now tasked with navigating college life in the middle of a century-defining pandemic, but they must do so amid a devastating economic downturn and while social isolating. With changes to campus life as a result of COVID-19, it is clear that many of the long-standing traditions of Aggieland will have to adapt as well.
Already, Aggie Muster and Fish Camp were held online for the first time in history, spring and summer graduation ceremonies morphed into livestreams and Texas A&M Athletics has been at a standstill for five months.
This fall, Kyle Field may not host a 30,000-plus student section that will Saw ‘Em Off before, during and after every home football game. Students needing a pinch of luck before an exam may not have the option to stop by Academic Plaza to place a penny at Sully’s feet.
But some traditions will remain the same.
Students can still greet each other with Aggieland’s official greeting: Howdy.
Gig ‘em will still communicate the camaraderie and togetherness it always has.
And the 12th Man can continue to stand for the duration of football games, though maybe not from inside Kyle Field.
But most importantly, The Battalion will be undeterred. We will remain steady in our mission as the independent student voice of A&M. This semester, The Battalion will continue to produce weekly print editions and daily digital content covering a broad range of campus news, culture and events.
Readers can expect up-to-date coverage of COVID-19 on campus with a focus on testing updates and vaccine developments from our reporting desks.
The Battalion’s sports desk will travel uncharted waters as A&M and the SEC attempt to salvage what is left of the fall sports season.
The Battalion’s opinion desk will continue to give commentary on issues that affect students with thoughtful construction and interesting perspectives.
The Battalion’s creative media desks will be working to produce eye-catching and inventive photos, videos and designs.
And most importantly, The Battalion will prioritize meeting our readers where they are — on campus or at home.
Using a digital-first production method, we will distribute every story on our website and social media with accessibility at the forefront.
Online versions of our print editions will be available on issuu.com/thebatt, video content can be found on The Battalion’s YouTube channel and a new podcast in development will be released within the first week of class.
So wherever you may be, read The Battalion, support our journalism, wear your mask and stay healthy.