Lasers grateful to be back on campus

By Bailey Klingaman & Rayana Petrone – Digital Editor & 1851 Contributor

Online students are projected on a screen behind Professor Andrea Brodeur as she teaches her Sociological Imagination flex course.
Photo by Angela Hayes

As the Spring semester begins and the community is reunited, various opinions have been expressed in regards to being back on campus during such unusual times. Campus regulations are still in place from the Fall semester, as the university was successful in keeping COVID-19 cases on campus relatively low. With additional students returning to on-campus housing and COVID-19 numbers still growing amid the vaccine rollout, the community had a lot to share regarding their feelings about being back. 

Although the campus experience is different this year, first-year student Mekenzie Barbosa said she moved on campus in the Fall “to have some sense of normal.” 

Many first-year students decided to move on campus last semester, and can relate to Barbosa’s reasoning for moving. “So much had been taken away from me my senior year [of high school]. I understand that the pandemic is very much here, but I did not want to put more of my life on pause because of it,” Barbosa said.

Junior Nicole Scali had a similar opinion related to Lasell’s COVID-19 regulations. She commends the university for how it has dealt with the virus, specifically the mandatory testing. However, “the one thing I would change is that we are not supposed to go to each other’s rooms. I wish we could hang out with people in our own building in smaller groups,” said Scali. 

Nicole Scali relaxes in her new dorm room, happy to be back on campus.
Photo by Bailey Klingaman

Some students also have different expectations from their roommates in regards to following COVID-19 regulations, which can create tense situations for students living on campus. 

For adjunct Professor of History Rachel Yore, student accountability and attention to the university guidelines have kept campus safe. She is currently teaching three sections of HIST104 on campus and says she enjoys being able to connect with her students. Being in-person allows students and faculty “to share a sense of community. It is great to be able to come to campus and see everyone’s faces again, even if it is behind a mask,” Yore said.

Yore also said she noticed a difference in student adaptability to the different modes of learning. She said that students “are able to pick up on how to complete requirements for all of the different courses being offered in many different formats.”

This isn’t how all Lasell students would describe their experience. According to Scali, it is more difficult to get up for her in-person classes after being accustomed to virtual learning. Another adjustment has been related to Zoom classes. “I also noticed that last semester my professors didn’t really care if you had your camera on, but now they are asking you to always have it on,” Scali said.

Other students on campus who have expressed their opinions about being back are those who just moved into the residence halls this semester. Sophomore Brendan Thornton expressed his excitement for being back at Lasell. “I really missed being on campus and am lucky that Lasell gave me the opportunity to move back in for the Spring semester,” said Thornton.

Thornton ultimately decided to return to campus because he felt as if he would be more productive and overall happier in an on-campus setting. “I enjoyed being home with my family in the Fall, but I knew coming back to Lasell was the right thing for me this Spring,” said Thornton. 

With new and returning students on campus, as well as staff, the Spring semester is already bustling with opinions. With the rest of the semester ahead, Lasell is sure to undergo further change, and the Lasell community will be around to express their thoughts and emotions on the situation as it unfolds.

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