How do students feel about returning to campus after the rise of the Omicron variant?


The Catalyst / Emma Callicott

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or have an excused absent due to sickness are able to participate in their classes through Zoom.

During Winter Break, a new version of coronavirus exploded: the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spread all over reaching many of the students that attend NDB.

This set back plans of returning in-person straight after the break, instead of continuing in person, NDB opted to stay online for the first four days back from break.

After four days of online classes, NDB started letting people back onto campus to return to regular in-person learning while maintaining an online option for people who had the virus, or did not feel comfortable with being in person.

The Omicron variant of the virus is highly contagious and can be spread very easily, many people that carry the virus are not showing symptoms, and this makes it harder to maintain. This made it very risky for NDB to return on campus.

Even with all these risks NDB started the semester, they enforced much stricter rules and show no sign of losing these restraints any time soon.

“I’m not really sure how I feel. I think they are put in place to keep us safe, but I’m kind of over the rules, even though I know they are for my own good,” said Lauren Pope, a sophomore at NDB.

NDB works really hard to make sure everyone feels safe on campus, but even with that, many students seem to think that staying online is the best option.

“I am on Zoom right now because I get sick fairly often and I am also currently recovering from being sick so it would just be better to stay home for now,” Niharika Nair said when asked about staying on Zoom.

There are many people like this that feel more comfortable in their own home due to the outbreak, but how would they feel if NDB stopped its online access for learning?

“I think I would I would feel comfortable coming back, but I would just have to take more precautions than I did before during last semester, but I think that everyone at Notre Dame is super great about everything so yeah,” Perry Stevick said while discussing returning to NDB in person.

This year the people online that are home sick seem like much less of a priority for the teachers, which makes sense because we are not in a hybrid model. Students on Zoom have a chance to listen in to class so they do not miss too much while they are sick.

“I think it’s definitely different without having everyone online at the same time because you’re less interactive learning with the teachers,” Stevick continued, “but I think I still am learning about the same amount. Because like, a lot of the teachers are really great with giving the materials you have in class and meeting with you if you have any questions.”

Overall, it is great that students who have contracted the virus or who are at home sick have the opportunity to still participate in class online if they feel up to it, and it is the best way to keep campus safe.