How COVID-19 has changed our campus experience

The pandemic changed just about everything when it comes to how the general public acts on a daily basis, but it still looks very different for students than it does for the rest of the population. The number of students on campus has been reduced (especially with some students opting to learn remotely) but we still had to implement major changes to accommodate for the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) regulations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While you are likely very aware of most of these changes, it is important that you know of all the changes that were made—including the accommodations for remote-learning students.

The most noticeable change is the mask requirement in every facility at Mines; it should be noted though, that masks are also required when walking around campus as well. And although everyone is wearing a mask, all individuals on campus should be social distancing as well. This means maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet whenever possible.

In order to maintain social distancing at all times, Mines has placed signs at the entrance to nearly every room—even elevators—marking the maximum number of people that should be allowed so that everyone is properly separated. Classrooms and lecture halls have decreased their capacity by 20-80% which has resulted in much smaller class sizes. While it feels very odd in a classroom where students are not allowed to sit next to each other, there is a positive to the smaller classes. Fewer students mean fewer interruptions and distractions and provides more opportunities for interacting with your professor and your peers. It is a more ideal learning environment for many students.

Remote classes are a little more difficult for Mines students. Learning by watching a lecture from your bedroom sounds great in theory, but there are so many challenges that accompany it, mainly trying to stay focused in a very distracting environment. Mines has devised methods to combat this though; there are quiet spaces all over campus that you can learn remotely in, you can find their locations on the school’s website under Coronavirus and returning to Mines. Administration and faculty have attempted to provide as many amenities and accommodations as possible to ensure the safety of everyone on campus; including equipping nearly every single classroom and lecture hall with a video camera that provides a remote learning option so that students can continue learning if quarantined.

And then there are athletics. Many sports have either cancelled or postponed their seasons and those that are still allowed to practice, do so
while following all CDC guidelines. It is a very different world on campus compared to every year before, but these changes are essential to keeping everyone safe. The more strictly we adhere to these guidelines, the sooner we will be able to return to life before COVID. But in the meantime, don’t forget to seek out the positives; keep your mind healthy and happy as well as your body and just remember that there are still plenty of resources available to you, whether you are on campus or not. •

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