FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - College students have been away from campus for months due to COVID-19, but as the start of the school year draws near, new students at Purdue Fort Wayne were able to get their first look at the campus on Friday.
Desire Mason was one of the university's roughly 1600 incoming freshmen who took part in the on-campus orientation.
Coming from Chicago, she didn’t know what to expect. She looked up a campus map to see how big the school is, but she says she’s still nervous about being in person.
"I’m nervous because I’m not sure how many people are going to be in the classroom," Mason said. "A majority of my classes are online, but the classes that I do have, in-person, face-to-face, I’m nervous because I’m wondering out the classroom is going to be set up and stuff like that."
Buildings and classes will look different than before.
Signs on the floor will tell people to walk one way or another.
Doors will be labeled with entrance or exit only.
Students and staff are being asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school, with students living on campus being given thermometers to help check for symptoms.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Krissy Creager says if someone living on-campus has to quarantine, Purdue Fort Wayne won’t just send them home.
"We have 18 full bed spaces at our disposal in case we need to quarantine in one those rooms. If we have a situation where more people in an apartment have been exposed, we’ll actually quarantine them in the apartment and move out the people temporarily who have not been exposed," Creager explained.
To help slow the spread, mastodons will be asked to wear masks and social distance when possible.
Junior Austin Schorey is a member of the student success team. He says. It’s up to him and leadership to help encourage the guidelines.
Schorey said, "I take it upon myself to make sure that students, incoming freshmen are doing what they need to do and taking necessary guidelines or otherwise all this could go away. Everything that we worked so hard to come back and try to do the fall semester in-person could go away."
So while, COVID-19 may have some people nervous, Creager says having people back, in person, is exciting, saying "We’re so excited. It’s completely changed the feel of this campus having these guys here today."
The first day of class for Purdue Fort Wayne students will be Monday, Aug. 24.