First days of classes at WKU look different due to COVID-19 precautions

The student body includes students who’d prefer to go all-in-person, and those who feel safer attending online classes.

Jacob Latimer

After a busy week of move-in and M.A.S.T.E.R Plan, classes began this past Monday for all WKU students, with mixed opinions across campus.

Along with every other aspect of life amid the coronavirus pandemic, the classroom looks different with social distancing and mask expectations in place. Among these changes, the back-to-school routines of students are being affected in different ways.

The student body includes students who’d prefer to go all-in-person, and those who feel safer attending online classes.

Grace Tweedy, a freshman English major from Bowling Green, KY, said that she feels comfortable attending in-person classes “as long as everyone is masked up”. Mask policies are being enforced across campus, as it is required to wear a face covering to enter any building at WKU. Along with masks, Tweedy also feels that there should be more cleaning supplies in the classroom.

“I feel like wipes and disinfectant spray being readily available so I can wipe down my desk before I sit would make me more comfortable.”

Grant Patterson, a freshman from Kingston Springs, TN who is currently undecided on a major, feels that “we learn better face-to-face”. This sentiment is echoed by many, including other students and professors, who got to choose the format of their classes.

“People make connections with each other face-to-face. I know that I can focus better whenever I’m in a room with my instructor, and it’s way easier to ask questions and be involved in discussion.”

Starting college during a global pandemic is a challenge for incoming freshmen and for those who had a normal experience last year.

For sophomore Maggie Vantrease, a Social Work major from Bowling Green, KY, a significant change she has noticed is traffic throughout campus.

“There aren’t as many students whenever I walk in DSU, or in other buildings.”

When asked about what could be improved about classes based on her first day, Vantrease stated that even if a class is online, she feels that professors should still find time to have face-to-face interactions with students.

When it comes to expectations for the future, Vantrease stated that she tries not to have any.

“It helps me to not plan ahead while being in this time where anything can change in an instant.”

Jacob Latimer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jacoblatimer_.