Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 2, 2020

thanksgiving story

Students wear masks and maintain social distancing to protect themselves and others on campus in hopes of staying in-person until Thanksgiving.

Photo provided by MU

MU Campus Could Stay In-Person until Thanksgiving 

TJ Whitmer

Manchester University is now in full swing with classes, labs and online meetings. Classrooms are either quiet with lights turned off or full of light with students and professors creating a muffled sound behind their masks. Manchester has taken extra steps by introducing one-way hallways, having limited classroom space, limiting seats in Haist Commons and sanitizing tables after each use.

Manchester has ensured that they want the students and faculty to stay on campus as long as possible or until Thanksgiving break as planned. I see this as a high possibility, as many students have been adhering to mask guidelines and staying six feet apart. Students also have been vigilant when it comes to being inside of the classroom, sitting in the same spot every time and wiping down their work area after use.

When coming back to campus I had an idea of what this school year was going to be like. Now having been on campus for five weeks, those ideas I did have met my expectations: having masks on at all times, social distancing while getting food, and seeing more staff on campus to help clean.

What I did not expect was my how my personal schedule would change regarding managing social media pages and work.

I am the social media manager for Theatre Society and Artist Anonymous, two clubs on campus. Both clubs have now been more actively interacting with their club members. Being able to communicate with those that come to our club events online, however, is difficult. I cannot see everyone’s face now because of masks, but also because of restrictions on how many in-person meetings are allowed a month.

Clubs are only allowed one in-person meeting a month unless approved by Student Involvement. Having events is harder now as only 50 people can attend an event with six-foot social distancing when indoors. Events that are outside can have more people present as long guidelines are being followed. Both clubs had multiple events planned but with the new guidelines for one meeting per month, many events got pushed back or are now on Zoom.

On-campus jobs have also slightly changed for many students. Working as a student technician for Cordier Auditorium, I have many new responsibilities along with my co-workers. This involves cleaning seats between each use of the auditorium, wiping down handles thoroughly, having to set up microphone packs for professors, in addition to other duties. Classes that are bigger now utilize Cordier Auditorium, as it is easy to spread out and still learn in a safe manner.

As the school year continues, I hope we can all find a system that works for each one of us individually. Clubs are still having meetings, even if it may not seem that way. Students can reach out to see how you can join and participate.

If you need help with stress, reach out to the counseling services to help with this difficult and odd school year. Hang out with your friend group as much as possible at a safe distance before Thanksgiving as it could be two months before you see them again.

Manchester wants to ensure you are safe. As I and many of you move on into the rest of the school year, remember we are here to learn and get an education. Be courteous of others and help those that need it. That is how we can keep Manchester University safe.