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The Scarlet & Black

Students Speak: Do you feel safe on campus?

Writer Millie Peck and photographer Alex Fontana talked to students studying in the HSSC about how COVID affects their feelings of safety on campus. Students say they’re happy to be back on campus, but whether they really feel safe can be another question entirely.

Paddy Haley `23

Paddy Haley
Paddy Haley. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“It could be safer, I think. Admin [the College administration] is kind of overlooking certain things willfully. Like, we can have our masks off in the Dining Hall and sit next to everyone and kiss people on the mouth, but then in classes and everywhere else we have to wear masks.”

Noah Fehr `24

Noah Fehr
Noah Fehr. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“I do feel safe on campus. I would say personally I’m not totally concerned with the COVID policies. Less of a safety thing, but I think it’s a little bit ironic that, at an institution like this, it’s [policies are] so inconsistent. Just the fact we have to wear masks when studying in the HSSC, but then not in the dining hall? That to me feels a little bit disconnected.”

Matt Lieberman `22

Matt Lieberman
Matt Lieberman. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“I was in the Bear after my run and I saw some people on the visiting soccer team walking through the hallway without a mask on and I was kind of like, could you guys be a little bit less disrespectful? Like, come on! So, I think at times it’s frustrating, but I don’t feel unsafe because I am in the least likely [demographic] group to suffer from the effects of the virus, and I am also doing what I need to be safe.”

Hana Leonard `25

Hana Leonard
Hana Leonard. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“From time to time I do worry. For example, during the class photo – that was a little jam-packed. I think about my friends at huge 20,000-person universities and they’re really dealing with COVID, but here, it feels like everyone follows restrictions for the most part and is doing their part to keep it safe. I feel happy, it’s not too bad.”

Ella Kim `24

Ella Kim
Ella Kim. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“[In Korea, people] all wear masks everywhere you go. But here, it is a bit more lenient. I have seen people get colds recently, so it is a little bit scary. I think it is okay because everyone seems to be getting their vaccines. So, yeah?”

Alex Sun `23

Alex Sun.
Alex Sun. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“That varies from day to day. In general, yes, but sometimes the lack of testing makes me uncomfortable. I arrived a few days later than everyone else, the night before classes started, and I had seen some photos and videos of parties on campus and no one was masked. It wasn’t really reassuring.”

Jack Gillespie `24

Jack Gillespie
Jack Gillespie. Photo by Alex Fontana.

“There are a few small things we could do that would make it like a million times better. Like just testing! When people come back from trips it would be easy to get a test. It takes like 30 seconds. As far as partying … I guess it is college! So, I don’t have as big of a problem with that. At a certain point it is okay, but I also understand why people would be more concerned about it.”

David Gales `23

David Gales
David Gales. Photo by Alex Fontana.

David Gales expressed frustration with a party happening in their dorm hall while they tried to sleep and recover from a cold. “That isn’t ideal, even beyond COVID! There is a reason that there are four different strains of common cold and influenza going around campus right now that aren’t COVID. Nobody’s wearing masks inside, nobody’s maintaining social distancing. Do I feel safe? Yeah, no one’s going to die. And I don’t think that many, if any, people are going to get hospitalized. But come on, people! Let me sleep!”

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Millie Peck
Millie Peck, Opinions Editor
Millie is a fourth-year English and psychology double major. Despite stewing on a witty bio for the better half of a year, she has failed to think of anything good, so will instead just lean into the fact that she is living the liberal arts dream: sharing a rainbow polka-dot house with seven roommates and a cat.  
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