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Are others seeing less campus life?


Innisfree
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Dd reports everyone is going home every weekend. Her school has taken Covid seriously, which, don't misunderstand, I appreciate. Last year almost everything was online, this year they require vaccinations and masks. Still, classes are back in person, so far at least. There's practically nothing happening on campus *except* classes, though. She says the school looked like a ghost town over the weekend. I'm not sure if this is new and different, or would have been the case regardless of the pandemic. She had specifically tried to find a school which had an active on-campus life, but either the information we got while visiting was wrong, or things have changed. I suppose it's probably the latter.

If I were looking for a school for next year, I'd ask some probing questions about life there *now*, and also lean towards schools within an easy driving distance, fyi.

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I don't think this is the case here.

We have been in person since fall 2020, albeit with reduced in-class capacity to allow for social distancing, which meant a lot of hybrid and online classes in addition to the in-seat ones. This semester, we are back to full classroom capacity.

I finally see students on campus; it is a big change form the previous two semesters. We are allowing in-person events; they just had the big fair for the student orgs. AFAIK, the student orgs are fully in operation and holding events like before, just with mask mandate and an upper limit on participant numbers.

I don't know about weekends, since I don't set foot on campus then

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It's all in full swing at my ds college. We went there to take him to lunch last weekend and they were having fraternity rush and guys in polos and khakis were swarming everywhere. Football starts this weekend and they are going full capacity at the stadium. Ds is a freshman and he had a full slate of welcome activities and events. So, my ds has been busy, but he is a joiner and one to go to every activity he can. I guess even if campus life was restricted in some way he'd still be finding whatever was happening to stay busy.

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I haven't found that at my university.  In fact, there seems to have been a push that if we just pretend we aren't in the midst of a pandemic (except for wearing a mask indoors and having hand sanitizer available) we can go about campus life as normal.  I undersand the desire for a return to in-person learning, but my university is doing things like having a 6 1/2 hour indoor meeting (including eating breakfast and lunch) with over 200 faculty/staff from one school five days before classes begin (despite the fact that one of the staff was in the hospital with COVID).  We are in a high transmission area.  Do you really need to gather everyone to review mission statements, visions statements, and other administrative stuff and run the risk of your entire faculty being exposed several days before class?  Can't we save the exposure for actual teaching situations?

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18 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I haven't found that at my university.  In fact, there seems to have been a push that if we just pretend we aren't in the midst of a pandemic (except for wearing a mask indoors and having hand sanitizer available) we can go about campus life as normal.  I undersand the desire for a return to in-person learning, but my university is doing things like having a 6 1/2 hour indoor meeting (including eating breakfast and lunch) with over 200 faculty/staff from one school five days before classes begin (despite the fact that one of the staff was in the hospital with COVID).  We are in a high transmission area.  Do you really need to gather everyone to review mission statements, visions statements, and other administrative stuff and run the risk of your entire faculty being exposed several days before class?  Can't we save the exposure for actual teaching situations?

This is us… except without indoor masks. I accidentally keep forgetting to go to these big gatherings. My boss is hard of hearing (the old guy in denial kind, although he is vaccinated), so wearing a mask would be met with some hostility.

Lots of testing going on, and I do mask if I’m in close quarters for more than 10 minutes.

Right now, here, the daycare viruses are making the rounds in adults. My dd is wearing a mask in classes b/c she’s seen enough of that already this year.

Our activities are full steam ahead, but the students aren’t turning out as much. I wonder if increased masking on campus would improve that?

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If anything, it seems to be the opposite-that the goal is to keep the kids so busy on campus that they never have any reason to leave the vaccinated bubble, where masking can be enforced. Although I don't know what a normal year looks like. It may be that there are always this many activities early in the year.

Edited by Dmmetler
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58 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

my university is doing things like having a 6 1/2 hour indoor meeting (including eating breakfast and lunch) with over 200 faculty/staff from one school five days before classes begin (despite the fact that one of the staff was in the hospital with COVID).  We are in a high transmission area.  Do you really need to gather everyone to review mission statements, visions statements, and other administrative stuff

6.5 hours of vision statements?  This meeting sounds like a nightmare even without the extra frisson of potential covid exposure. 

38 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

I accidentally keep forgetting to go to these big gatherings.

 Very easy for these sorts of events to just slip a person's mind.  So much going on these days.

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19 minutes ago, JennyD said:

6.5 hours of vision statements?  This meeting sounds like a nightmare even without the extra frisson of potential covid exposure. 

 Very easy for these sorts of events to just slip a person's mind.  So much going on these days.

Vision statements were probably the most interesting part--there was the provost explaining how there haven't been budget cuts like everyone thinks there have been (although employee benefits have been cut, no raises, hiring freeze so that our workload has increased significantly due to retirements)--the money has been reallocated to student scholarships--telling that to business faculty who understand accounting and finance didn't go over very well.  There was the unconcious bias training--listening to how the presenter's concious bias is "dogs" and unconcious bias is "long hair for girls" and how the presenter's three year old wants to throw melons across the grocery store...  the nonsense that goes on at universities these days is unbelievable. But one of the main points of the entire meeting was after a rough 1 1/2 years (we were undergoing a major building project that caused disruptions for the 2 1/2 years before that so it is really 4 years of major disruption and promises that work situations will get better soon) we need to spend the year investing in people and relationships--so we will have lots of get-togethers to bring everyone back together again.  

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1 hour ago, Bootsie said:

 but my university is doing things like having a 6 1/2 hour indoor meeting (including eating breakfast and lunch) with over 200 faculty/staff from one school five days before classes begin (despite the fact that one of the staff was in the hospital with COVID).  We are in a high transmission area.  Do you really need to gather everyone to review mission statements, visions statements, and other administrative stuff and run the risk of your entire faculty being exposed several days before class?  Can't we save the exposure for actual teaching situations?

Uggh. The meeting that could have been an email - even without Covid this kind of thing is a stupid waste of everyone's time.

 

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My university is actively promoting so many campus activities. There is a lot of freshman type activities happening. Thankfully, I only have to be on campus one day a week, and last week it was very quiet by the time I got there. The city is under an indoor mask mandate until October at least and we were placing bets in class (I'm taking one, not TAing this semester) on how it would be before we're back online. 

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It seems to be full steam ahead here.  Dd attends university in our home town so I have a front row seat.  We have a very short and fleeting time before LOTS of snow falls so many events are outdoors.  Campus is abuzz, which is nice to see after the last year when everything was online.  Dd reports that there is not much happening indoors at this time, other than class.  I'd say from the outside looking in, campus activity is higher than it was pre-Covid.

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On 8/31/2021 at 8:17 AM, Innisfree said:

 

If I were looking for a school for next year, I'd ask some probing questions about life there *now*, and also lean towards schools within an easy driving distance, fyi.

(((Hugs))) Driving distance was a big factor for us, and both kids’ schools are close enough for a weekend visit. DD’s is 3 hours, so maybe not weekly, but once a month or so. Both of my kids are at state schools where kids go home for weekends, but we kind of knew that. They did find clubs to join though. Dd went to two this week and likes both and has a new friend texting her now. I hope your daughter can find an interest to pursue through a club to meet some people.

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There is utterly nothing going on at the local university. I go walking there almost every day, and have been really stunned at how few people are outside.  I didn't spend much time on campus prior to Covid, so maybe it's always this quiet? There's normally only about 1500 students enrolled, so maybe it's always quiet. 

It's seriously the most boring campus I've ever been on!  Not even music booming from the dorms! 

If anyone is looking for a super quiet, super small, super DULL school for their college-bound kids, send me a pm because I know just the place! 😉 

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Our local university seems to have all the clubs and activities back in full swing. In fact, DS is at a club meeting right now. Last week he attended a different club and said there were about 40 or 50 students there. It was indoors in a gym and they were wearing masks.

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My dd's university is known to be empty on weekends, a lot of kids go home every other weekend like clockwork.  However last weekend she was feeling pretty lonely and discovered the housing had a painting event.  She had a fantastic time.  I know the kids have to get dialed in to how things are advertised and look regularly.  She has found there is plenty to do even when it feels like an empty weekend if she looks hard enough.

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Ds' university is encouraging vaccinations and requiring masks indoors as well as encouraging distancing when possible. They are still having their usual activities, including chapel twice a week. They have fewer cases and fewer quarantined this week than last week. They aren't quarantining the fully vaccinated. Ds rode in a car and ate lunch with a guy who tested positive, but thankfully, ds has been fine. He tried to quarantine himself a few days to wait for symptoms, but he still went to class. 

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That's how it was last year for DD. This year is totally different - tons of stuff is happening.

So much, in fact, that DD is sort of having whiplash and feels that everything she applied last year regarding time management/friendship management/ etc is moot and she has to start from scratch. She's frustrated but happy that things are "happening."

She took on/was elected to a lot of leadership roles last year that felt totally doable - but this year they're having sooooo many meetings in person and scheduling tons of events (that she *has* to attend) that she's overwhelmed. 😕

DSs school is back and forth like a pendulum! lol He's still trying to find a place for his feet to land. It's been online/back in person/maybe back online already and they're only several weeks into the semester! 🥴

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This weekend is Parents' Weekend.  The university seems to be making a splash with more activities than I remember in previous years.  Parents and grandparents have flown in from all over the country.  We have a mask mandate in buildings on campus; most of the parents I have seen have not even been pretending to comply.  I am wondering what impact that will have going forward, not only on the precedent it set for not following the mandate, but also on the number of cases we will have over the next few weeks.  

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On 9/2/2021 at 6:28 AM, skimomma said:

It seems to be full steam ahead here.  Dd attends university in our home town so I have a front row seat.  We have a very short and fleeting time before LOTS of snow falls so many events are outdoors.  Campus is abuzz, which is nice to see after the last year when everything was online.  Dd reports that there is not much happening indoors at this time, other than class.  I'd say from the outside looking in, campus activity is higher than it was pre-Covid.

This is the case where my dd is as well. They have a vaccine mandate and a mask mandate, and I noticed on campus that people appear to be super good about wearing masks even outside if they are near other people. Dd said people keep them on and only take them off when they are only with the people they live with. I hoping this bodes well for cases remaining extremely low. 

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My dd joined a Christian group and they are on a retreat this weekend, and she said they are being careful with masking etc… She’s an early childhood Ed. Major and volunteers in a daycare with 2 and 3 year-olds…for one of her courses. She said it’s really interesting to try to keep them in masks! They don’t have to mask outside though. They each put their mask away in their cubby, and one little boy always puts his in someone else’s cubby! I keep wondering if he does it on purpose, hoping to give it away, lol!

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Things are very lively on campus here.  The university has both a vaccine mandate and a mask requirement, but social distancing has been largely dropped and nearly everything appears to be up and running again.

The school is doing a combo of symptomatic testing, contact tracing/close contact testing, and sentinel asymptomatic testing.  There was a small spike in cases when the students came back to school but the numbers have been dropped the last two weeks.

 

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Oh on my son's big 10 U, not at all.  They are trying to discourage extra travel.  Dorm kids are being tested and unvaccinated (they are at about 93% students vaxxed, higher for employees/faculty so great compliance) and numbers have been low.  They are masking indoors.  Honestly so far so good, kid is busy and having fun.  FINALLY!  We are going overnight for parent's weekend to see him perform next weekend.  He won't come home until Thanksgiving if all goes well.

He did have a cold for the first time in like 2 years and was covid tested and negative a couple weeks ago.  

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My campus keeps seeming to do more and more more.  Last week was Parents' Weekend.  Today they announced at "Change your scenery" program for alums to "work from home" on campus for a few days so that they can reconnect with the school.  I understand the desire to have students back in the classroom and engaged.  But, I do not understand encouraging MORE people to be milling around indoors on campus.  

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My dd's campus is fully active.  Only 49% of students are vaccinated, but their Covid numbers are low (and this is in an area of very high transmission since campus opened in Aug).  I just looked and only 8 students out of 10,000 have tested positive in the past week.  Their peak infection week was 3 weeks after school started at 54. (They do have an indoor masking mandate.)

Edited by 8filltheheart
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