Editor’s note: This updated story corrects a previous version that had the wrong last name attributed to Grant Nicholson. The previous version wrongly listed the source as Grant Garbow. The Palmetto Report regrets the error.
(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the classrooms at Winthrop University, including in the Department of Physical Education Sport and Health Performance (PESH), where many adjustments have been made to the procedures and curriculum since the outbreak of the virus.
Some of the adjustments for PESH classes include social distancing, mask requirements, a lower cap on class enrollments, conducting portions of classes online and in some instances, students are required to use their own equipment.
These measures were adopted in conjunction with the West Center’s adjusted COVID procedures.
Student Zac Clary, who is taking a PESH class this semester, said he has noticed the changes.
“Compared to my freshman year, a class of 20 has gone down to a class of about six to eight people. All in all, it’s kind of nice having a class that small. You get your own ball and you don’t really have to mingle with anybody. You just go to yourself and do what you’ve got to do,” said Clary.
“I think it’s a decent experience. It’s not as good as it could be without COVID, but it’s about as good as it can be for the time.”
Geoffrey Morrow, director of the outdoor education and basic instruction programs, has worked through these adjustments with both students and faculty over the last two semesters and he said he believes the classes have improved since the start of the pandemic.
“I’ll say it’s gradually getting better. I mean last March was the big shock to the system, where we got pushed fully online,” he said.
“Last fall we were able to kind of do primarily hybrid and online, but by that point last fall we had time to get requisite training for our instructors, to revisit our curriculums in how we structure them and just course design in itself.”
However, Morrow said he believes they’ve been able to ease back into things and find a flow this semester.
While the classes may not look fully normal for a while, students have tried to make the best of their experiences in spite of the virus.
Senior Grant Nicholson put it simply when asked if it was worth taking a PESH class during the pandemic.
“It’s still fun to take a PESH class,” said Nicholson.