The University of Arizona is currently in Phase 2 of reentry, meaning in-person and flex-in-person courses with 50 or fewer students can be held on campus. In an email, President Dr. Robert C. Robbins stated “We are being very cautious about the total number of people on campus (students, staff and faculty) and encourage employees who can work remotely and offsite to do so as we continue to monitor the conditions.”
With this large step for the university, reactions have varied. Speaking with several students revealed how many intend to move forward in regards to new and likely changing class updates.
Fatima Cazares is a UA biochemistry major who currently participates in one in-person class but will begin attending several more in upcoming weeks.
“I have two flex in-person classes and I am currently taking an in-person lab,” Cazares said via email. “It is really interesting being back on campus. It's a bit odd and can be scary at times, but I love campus life and see my colleagues and peers. I just really hope everything goes back to normal.”
Cazares reflected on how safe she personally felt on campus.
“I believe being back in person can be safe if every person follows the right protocols,” Cazares said.
Another student, Joseph Cazzato, reflected on his thoughts about in-person classes.
“I have one stage 2 reentry class, Astronomy 201, however, I recently moved from the student apartments back in with my parents, who live 30 mins from campus, so I don't know if I'll be able to attend,” Cazzato said via email.
Cazzato expressed his hesitancy towards in-person classes.
“If I still lived on campus I would feel excited to get out and see other people. However, at this point, I feel like I am used to online classes and am honestly okay with my current routine,” Cazzato said. “I feel like until [COVID-19] is completely gone, which I don't even know if that is possible, in-person classes will never feel the same. There will always be an underlying feeling that something is not right and stress about the virus.”
When asked if he personally felt safe, Cazzato touched on how the university has been handling the pandemic and how he thinks this will impact in-person classes moving forward.
“It seems like the university has been pretty on top of things as far as getting people to get tested and enforcing mask policies. I would not personally feel worried about going back, but I feel like it still might worry other people because of that may be easier to remain online for the time being,” Cazzato said.
Ebrahim Abdulmalek, another student who currently attends no in-person classes but may soon, remarked that he felt uneasy about stepping back onto campus.
“This is not good. I don’t think it is safe at all since the spread of the virus has not gone down yet,” Abdulmalek said via email.
According to the UA's COVID-19 Dashboard, the past 10 days have yielded a 0.2% positivity rate here on campus. That being said, the UA continues to advise students to remain cautious and vigilant when attending in-person courses.
More information regarding COVID-19, the UA's reentry plan and testing locations can be found at https://covid19.arizona.edu/dashboard.
Follow Madison Beveridge on Twitter