(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Winthrop University students returned from winter break on Jan. 11, with a number of changes in place designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, but some students are concerned that not everyone is following the rules.
One new rule required students to get a COVID-19 test and upload their results to the school’s database at least three days prior to returning to campus, as the university intended to return to mostly in-person learning for the remainder of the semester.
The school also modified the semester schedule — changing spring break from a full week to a series of days off throughout the semester — in order to limit travel.
Students and staff continue to be instructed to wear a mask when they’re on campus, practice social distancing and there are limits on the number of people allowed in classrooms and other spaces.
However, some students are concerned that some of their peers are not following the rules.
Jamel McCants, a senior business administration major, said he has not experienced students not complying first hand, but he has heard stories.
“My friend said that she was attending one of her in-person classes this semester and she said that there was a male in the class that refused to wear his mask,” said McCants.
“Once he was confronted by the professor to please put his mask on he proceeded to say ‘I don’t why I have to put on this stupid mask’ and this made a lot of the students in the class really uncomfortable,” he said.
Ravyn Cunningham, a senior political science major, said she feels as though students who are not compliant to the COVID-19 rules are being extremely inconsiderate.
“I feel like the students at Winthrop University that are not compliant are disregarding the fact that our campus is meant to edify students from different backgrounds and basically provide them with a home away from home. So I feel as though everyone should do their part so that we can enjoy the little bit of social life that we do have,” said Cunningham.
“I feel as though it is important that we all social distance and wear a mask. I feel like its disrespectful to the people that have worked so hard to create a plan and it’s also disrespectful to peers who are just trying to get an education. I think it’s a big slap in the face and a disappointment to our campus community, to our ethics and to our student code of conduct when students decide not to comply to the rules. We should all learn to value the lives of others more.”
Other students said they don’t feel comfortable being in-person for classes, in general.
Ashli Jones, an exercise science major, said she feels holding in-person classes is not a good way to socially distance and she thinks it goes against the efforts of being compliant to the COVID-19 rules put forth by the university.
“I do not like the fact that we are in person and are still having to be in groups for class projects,” said Jones.
She said she often goes home to visit her family in Columbia, S.C. often, where she has a family member that is considered high risk, so she tries to stay away from people and avoids spreading more germs as much as possible.