Students acclimate to life on campus post-coronavirus

Bear Hall, in addition to other university housing, remains open for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. For various reasons, many students are choosing to remain on campus.

March 24 update: UCA Housing is now prohibiting most students from residing on campus after March 29, making exceptions for international students, students who do not have permanent housing and special cases.

As the days go on, students who haven’t left UCA have to acclimate to the changes the university is putting in place to keep everyone healthy. All classes have been moved online for the remainder of the semester and the graduation commencement ceremony for seniors has been canceled.

With this being the new policy, students who have elected to stay in Conway have had to adapt to what’s now being considered their new normal.

The busy hours of campus have now become much quieter as people stay in their dorms, only leaving on occasion to grab necessary food or groceries. 

The Christian Cafeteria is offering only to-go meals. The CDC recommends that people keep a distance of six feet between each other when outside for social distancing to be properly enforced. 

Senior Jamaal Lockings, the current Vice President of Operations in SGA, said he stayed near campus partially due to the accessible resources still available for academics and otherwise.

“Conway has become my home,” Lockings said. “It’s easier for me to stay here, because I have consistent access to my SGA office and can not only work with these resources for my classes but also with SGA.” 

Regarding future SGA meetings, Lockings said there won’t be any more senate meetings and that important discussions will be brought up via email channels. CubConnect will also be used in case anything needed to be voted on for one reason or another. 

Other students have become more acclimated to the campus for different reasons. Senior Jake Yarbro said he was staying in Conway primarily for work accessibility and the fact that he preferred the dorms' living quarters. When asked about how he felt about the rules on campus, Yarbro said one rule bothered him.

“The only rule that I do not like is no dorm visitors,” Yarbro said. “If I hang out with someone infected outside of the dorm and come back now infected, then nothing has been accomplished.” 

Both Yarbro and Lockings have been keeping themselves busy, with Yarbro practicing Chinese and Spanish online while Lockings unwinds by streaming Disney Plus and other alternatives.

For now, students will still be able to stay on campus, but this policy could change.

While some students have chosen to stay, others may have to stay on campus out of pure necessity. Senior Erin Golden said she was staying due to the fact that “they are not giving us a refund on food and housing, and I have to pay out of pocket for those things.”

For further information about CDC policies and coronavirus related to UCA, visit https://uca.edu/coronavirus/.

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