Students respond to Belmont’s plans for fall return to campus
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Students respond to Belmont’s plans for fall return to campus

Bergan Lashlee is willing to comply with any Belmont guidelines in order to get back onto campus this fall to regain a sense of normalcy for her senior year. 

“I’m just ready to be back on campus, so I’m honestly willing to put up with whatever they decide,” said Lashlee, a journalism major. 

“I understand Belmont is doing their best, and I truly believe they wouldn’t have us back if they didn’t think they could get a proper, sufficient plan in place.” 

Belmont announced the fall semester of classes will happen, but will look substantially different as a result of precautions for COVID-19. Among the changes, all students, faculty and staff must wear masks, class times will be staggered and classes will be taught in a variety of ways both in-person and online.

The university announced these plans in an email sent out to students Tuesday.

The reaction to the plan was mixed.

Having the option of taking hybrid classes, is a great middle-ground for students, said Lashlee.

“It’s essentially the best of both worlds. It’s a good way to limit the amount of people in a class at one time and still provide a traditional setting.” 

However, being offered courses that only physically meet in the classroom periodically or being forced to take online classes is not appealing to everyone.

For Adra Kreiling, a junior audio engineering technology major, is contemplating a leave of absence if her classes are not in person this semester. 

“I just hope they’ll be in person. At least my classes that are AET and physics-specific,” said Kreiling. 

“It was just difficult to learn how to use different software remotely, especially for audio processing. Trying to do listening exercises via zoom was not desirable.”

In addition to unease about academics, students also voiced concerns about overall health and safety of campus and plans for a pause or move-out if the virus makes resurgence.

Kreiling said she also hopes extra consideration may be taken into account for students who contract the virus during the semester. 

While Kailey Ragland, a junior music business major said she doesn’t believe that the three-to-five day time slot is enough for all students to move off-campus.

“Even though I am a commuting student, I understand that booking a flight home and moving out of a dorm in that time span will not be financially feasible for some,” she said. 

Ragland said Belmont should take extra consideration towards the students and families of the Belmont community. 

“Those financial burdens paired with very limited storage options around Nashville, as we are still recovering from the March tornadoes, has a strong potential to create unfair hardships for students and their families,” said Ragland.

The uncertainty of the fall semester is also a concern to Abigail Momot, a senior nursing student. 

“My biggest concern personally is how unpredictable the coming months will be with the virus,” said Momot. 

Momot will also take part in her own additional steps alongside Belmont’s health and safety plans to ensure her wellbeing while back on campus. 

“I also will limit the number of friends I have in my apartment and opt for hanging out outside as much as possible.” 

While the moving back onto campus could hold some potential risks for students, Momot said that being back on campus is a move that is needed for some majors and is ultimately being handled responsibly. 

“I do think that being on campus is a necessity for some majors- nursing being one of those. I can’t get my clinical experience or practice skills fully through online learning,” said Momot. 

“So in that respect, I feel that the move back to campus is unavoidable. However, it definitely comes with risks, but I think that Belmont is doing its best to minimize those.” 

This article written by Madison Bowen.

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