University of Connecticut students share the changes and priorities they want the new administration to focus on and their hopes for the Spring 2022 semester.
Areej Sayeed, a sixth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said she wants to see more guidelines put in place to preserve the rest of the spring semester by getting more students involved with masking and receiving booster shots.
“When I first heard that we will be online for two weeks, I was a little angry to have my first complete spring semester taken away. However, I understand the importance of quarantining and waiting for the Omicron surge to pass,” Sayeed said. “I know in Homer Babbidge library, masking is loosely emphasized because there are so many students, and they tend to take it off when sitting with friends. I think an incentive or reward of some kind for masking can boost involvement and reduce the spread of COVID on our campus.”
Dylan Steer, a second-semester political science and environmental studies double-major, said he wants action on mental health, environmental reform and social justice action. He said actions are more important than words when it comes to climate change.
“It seems like the administration more and more serves to make cash instead of doing what’s best for students. [The administration] has to understand that the only way to change this perception is by taking meaningful action and through no other means,”Dylan Steer, second-semester political science and environmental studies double-major.
UConn announced the first two weeks of the spring semester would be moved online to contain the spread of COVID-19 and specifically, the Omicron variant. With move-in being delayed to the weekend of Jan. 29, the university announced it would be providing students living in on-campus housing and who utilize a meal plan a refund if they remain off-campus during those two weeks.
However, some students want refunds for other services they purchased before the online period was announced, such as tuition, parking passes, and the student recreation center.
Reddit user Turqoi16 said they want a partial refund on tuition because online education is not the same quality as in-person. They also want a partial refund on their parking pass because they won’t be commuting to campus for two weeks.
“Online weeks means no commuting to campus and I basically paid an entire parking pass cost when I’m not using that parking pass to its full ability,” Turqoi16 said. “I know the university loves saying, ‘All these costs are fixed’ or that ‘we can’t do anything,’ but you have such a giant student body who are all saying similar things, so maybe try listening to them about financial hardships.”
Reddit user Familiar_explorer_25 also commented that a refund for parking and the gym is important because they don’t want their money to go to waste.
“I’ll be pissed off if 25% of the 160 dollars I spent on a permit goes to waste. It takes me time to earn the money to buy that permit,”Familiar_explorer_25, a commenter on Reddit.
While COVID-19 is still prevalent, students are also looking forward to moments of normalcy this spring, where they can experience campus events and enjoy the spring season.
Zoey England, an eighth-semester population, health, disease and policy major, said she is excited about the UConn-specific traditions planned for the spring semester.
“I’m definitely looking forward to graduating this spring, but I’m also really excited for One-Ton Sundaes, the outdoor skating rink and playing Bubble Soccer, which are some of the UConn traditions I haven’t been able to experience yet,” England said.
Bri Mahn, a sixth-semester marketing major, said aside from hoping UConn can pull off two national basketball championships, she wants to come back in-person Jan. 31 as planned and get to enjoy everything UConn has to offer.
“I, as a Junior, have never actually been able to experience college on campus in May, which is crazy to say. I think with how much college students have been through in these past three years, this is what they need and deserve,” Mahn said. “Even the glimpses of normalcy in the fall of this past semester really are some of my favorite moments from my college experience. So I hope this spring semester is going to be a time that students can finally enjoy everything campus has to offer.”