COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Cautious optimism marked the first day of classes at the Ohio State University Tuesday.
“It’s really nice being back in a place that I’m familiar with, but strange that it’s so much different
than it was last year,” said OSU student Adam Sickels.
The junior and his fellow computer-science major, Jason Tysl, were navigating the hybrid combination of in-person and online classes on their first day back on campus.
“It’s sometimes annoying,” explained Tysl. “We have an in-person class and then an online class 15 minutes after that and we don’t have time to get home.”
Others who live on-campus were adapting to the weekly COVID-19 testing required by the university.
“It’s pretty quick. It’s a saliva test so you just have to spit in a vial,” said sophomore Reagan Zuelzke.
The Oval at the center of campus was painted with white circles, spaced 6 feet apart, to encourage social distancing. Signs throughout campus reminded everyone about mask requirements and touted the “Together as Buckeyes” mantra.
Off-campus, some fraternities, sororities, and homes posted yard signs from Student Life asking everyone to avoid large gatherings and parties.
The first day of class came one day after the school announced more than 200 suspensions for students attending or hosting parties or large gatherings.
Some students speculated their peers would likely still engage in risky behaviors.
“Shutting down parties, the university is almost encouraging people to go to bars,” said Tysl.
His friend was more optimistic.
“I think we all understand that if it’s necessary, it’s necessary,” Sickels said. “And we’ll find things
to do that are safe to have fun.”
Many students were imploring others to follow the safety guidelines to avoid shutdowns or a move to all online classes.
“I’m terrified that we’ll have to go back home. I really don’t want to move my stuff out again,” Zuelzke said.
Read Ohio State’s reopening procedure and guidelines for “Safe and Healthy Buckeyes” here.