Trey Brownlee

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – Winthrop University students are now fully moved into their dorms and beginning a semester that is vastly different than in years before.

New rules and regulations are now in place and signs, including those with precautions to remind everyone to maintain social distance, are posted everywhere.

“It really sucks; it’s my first year living on campus and I can’t even be around my friends,” said junior Kiana Rios.

New rules do not allow guests into student’s dorms and face masks are required in every building.

Rios, a Rock Hill resident, said she thought this year would be different having her own place on campus away from her parents.

“It feels like I’m still living at home under my parents’ rules, like what is the point of being here on campus,” said Rios.

A number of other students expressed frustration with the changes this semester.

“Classes have just been a nightmare, communicating and learning over a computer screen has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do,” said Thomas Caldwell, a sophomore. “I don’t see how Winthrop expects us to learn college level classes on a computer; it’s basically just teaching yourself at this point.”

However, not all classes are online, as Winthrop has tried to keep a number of classes in-person as “hybrid” courses, with a mix of in-person and online meetings.

“Being a biology major, I have in-person labs every week,” said Jeremiah Jones Boggs, a senior living off campus. “Going into class is really different; we have to wipe down everything before we sit down, as well as before we leave.”

Chick-fil-A during pandemic
Dining on the Winthrop campus looks different this semester. For example, Chick-fil-A, in the DiGorgio Student Union, now requires a staff member to pour every drink, rather than allowing students to get their own or pour refills (photo: Trey Brownlee).

The social scene at Winthrop has changed due to COVID-19, as students are not allowed to gather inside dorms, so they have since found other alternatives.

“Campus seems livelier though, especially at night. No one can hang out together in their rooms, so this is forcing everyone to go outside to be with their friends,” said Boggs.

“It is still a constant struggle every day. I know that myself and every other students are going through the same problems right now, but it’s still difficult to maintain a college life that I always dreamed of,” he said.

While students offered mixed reviews on how Winthrop in handling the situation on campus, most shared one common thought: “COVID sucks.”