COVID-19 complicates students’ return to campus

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While Southern Adventist University has been fortunate enough to reopen its campus to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, some students were unable to return. 

For students such as Allison Barnum and George Zaitsev, personal circumstances and travel regulations impacted their decisions about where to complete this term. 

Barnum, a junior graphic design major, is taking her courses online from her home in Michigan. Although she is completing this semester virtually, she said she doesn’t think it will be harder. 

“I don’t think the semester will be more difficult than usual,” Barnum said. “I understand that when studying online, there are some complications and disadvantages that arise. However, it’s the same amount of work whether online or in person.”

Barnum said she misses several things on campus, including the creative atmosphere that Brock Hall provided and working as a layout designer for the Accent. 

Zaitsev, a senior piano performance major, was unable to return to campus due to travel complications.

“I’ve just been waiting for a miracle,” he said. “[I’m] still waiting, but currently I’m not attending Southern because of the difficulties corona has caused.”

Zaitsev’s situation presents unique complications. Because he lives in Russia, he said the difference in time zones and inadequate communication from professors makes it more difficult to keep up with school work.

“The communication with professors is not [as] handy as it used to be,” Zaitsev said. “I have to wait for a response way longer than before.”

Zaitsev said he is confident he will return for the winter semester. For now, he has decided to remain positive about the situation and looks forward to returning to Southern. 

“I miss campus life a lot,” Zaitsev said. “[But] I miss my friends the most.”

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