Trey Brownlee

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – Campus life was a lot different during the fall semester due to the outbreak of COVID-19, but now many students and staff are curious about how things might change for the upcoming semester.

A number students had a lot to say when asked how they felt about the new semester, especially regarding Winthrop University’s policies.

“It’s something I think about just about everyday, (this) semester will be my last on campus and I don’t want it to be ruined by Winthrop’s policies,” said Baily Crolley, a senior biology major at Winthrop. “This next semester is my last opportunity to have fun and enjoy college and I don’t want to lose that opportunity.”

Some students said they’re feeling the effects of the restrictions and many are getting tired of it.

“It feels like their protocol is for us to go to our one or two classes that we have and then just go back to our dorms; and I feel students should have that extracurricular activities as students, because it helps with their mental health,” said Isaiah DeSantis, a sophomore sports management major at Winthrop.

DeSantis who took all of his classes online in the fall, said it was a struggle he’s never had to deal with before.

However, a number of faculty have also said the changes due to the pandemic have been challenging.

“Well I’m not the youngest professor here at Winthrop, so it has been a challenge trying to adjust to all the technology,” said Christopher Van Aller, a professor in Winthrop’s department of political science. “I’m just not the person who can be at my computer all day.”

Van Aller was a guest on the Palmetto Report podcast to discuss the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.

Students seem to understand the need for the new policies that Winthrop had in place in the fall, but many said they are getting tired of those rules and they are hopeful for changes this semester.

“I believe some of the protocols that they had in place at first were firm and then now this semester has gone on and they have seen that students were not acting positively to those so they kind of backed off,” said Madi Mott, a senior elementary education major at Winthrop.

She said that she wants to see Winthrop change some of their rules for this semester to be less strict.

While it’s unclear if Winthrop will back away from some of the harsh rules, many students are hopeful for a more normal semester.