By Deja Watts

When COVID started to get worse around this time last year, every establishment and college campus went on lockdown. College students went from being on campus to being home and learning remotely. Recently, an action plan was announced for Rutgers’ students to safely return to campus.

President Joe Biden announced that all states can open their COVID eligibility requirements which means that by early summer, it is expected that all adults will have at least one dose of the vaccine. On Sunday, March 25, Jonathan Holloway, the president of Rutgers, sent out an email stating that students could return to campus for the fall 2021 semester. The one stipulation is that students and faculty must be fully vaccinated. The only exemptions would be for medical or religious reasons.Rutgers is the first large university in the country to have a vaccination requirement to return to campus. There will also be on-campus vaccinations at Rutgers. 

COVID not only affected students but also professors.Tina Crafton is a professor for the writing department at Rutgers. When discussing her view on remote learning, she stated, “I like aspects of remote learning and I believe that certain students really benefit from its flexibility. However, I believe that online learning can be very difficult for certain subjects.” Some students were better in in-person classes than taking online classes while others were quick to adapt.

She confirmed that she will be returning to campus next fall. She is vaccinated and has been getting updates from immediate family. “By the time I received the vaccine, millions had gone before me so I was able to read up on the side effects. My son is an EMT and received Moderna in December. The folks who volunteered for the studies and who received the vaccines early provided important data for the rest of us. They are heroes to me.” She was fortunate to receive the vaccine along with future students that are returning to campus. 

Like many students, she is excited to return to campus. “I am eager to return to campus this fall and I have full confidence that we will do so safely. Rutgers has made really good public health and safety decisions during the pandemic. With proper protocols, I know it will be safe.”

Fall 2021 semester is going to be surreal.

Fall 2021 semester is going to be surreal. Students have not been on campus for an entire year. It may not be the norm we were used to before the pandemic due to protocols such as social distancing and masks, but the Rutger community is pushing back to a “normal” campus life while still taking precautions.