Students share their feelings about the spring 2021 semester

Elisa D’Egidio, Contributing Writer

After adjusting to life on campus during the fall semester, students at the University of New Haven had mixed emotions about returning for the spring semester. With increased tuition, no change in the Campus Visitor Policy, more online classes and the removal of spring break, students looked for a platform to express their thoughts.

A survey on asked students to rate how excited they were for the start of the spring semester on a scale of one to 10, one being not excited and 10 being most excited.

As of Feb. 5, 29 students answered, leaving the rating of one as the most with 21% of the votes. Students also participated in a Google Form. One question asked, “Which of the below statements most relates to how you feel about this semester?” Of the 42 participants, 61.9% felt neutral about the spring semester.

When asked “Which of these statements most relates to how you feel with communication between school administration and students for this semester, specifically during the winter break?”, 33.3% felt communication was bad.

Senior national security major Morgan McCarty said in the form that she thinks that there are a lot of mental health issues circulating on campus.

“Although I wish the school could do more,” said McCarty, “there is a lot of adversity that they must face in order to keep us safe.”

However, junior criminal justice major Brett Deri said that he is “excited to be closer towards graduation, seeing friends, being able to adapt, and return to a sense of normality.”

Amanda Bello, a senior majoring in marine biology, said that hosting more in-person events are important to a student’s social life. “We already are online most of the day and have a larger workload than previous years so I think having more events while still following covid procedures, could aid students in creating a better social life as well and meeting new students and making new friends.”

Rudibeth Martinez, a senior criminal justice major, said that she was not pleased with how the school is handling COVID-19. She said the school is withholding important information from the students and should be more transparent.

“If a student tests positive in our building and/or on our hall, we should have the right to know such information. No names are necessary but just knowing would make me feel better and take better precautions,” said Martinez. “Also, the numbers put on the covid dashboard on our school website seemed very inaccurate last semester.”

Martinez also said that upon testing positive for COVID-19, she encountered rude people and a lot of her questions regarding her situation were left unanswered. She said she came to the realization that the COVID-19 dashboard displays incorrect numbers as there were not enough beds for her to quarantine during that time.

“On top of this I had 2 incidents where someone walked into the apartment unannounced, no knock or anything,” Martinez said. “They just used a key and walked in without my knowledge. This was honestly scary because I was in an apartment by myself on [R]uden [S]t. I brought the issue up to res life and they did nothing. This was by far the worst experience I have dealt with at this school.”

Forensic technology graduate student Katerina Athaide said that she is thankful that, in comparison to other universities, the University of New Haven is still providing some normalcy to its students.

“The way UNH has been handling COVID has allowed students to live in the dorms, attend in-person classes, and use facilities such as the Beckerman Recreation Center,” said Athaide. “Some of my friends from home were completely online for last semester so I am just happy to be able to attend in-person classes with the way UNH is handling everything.”

Athaide also said that it is challenging for faculty to interact with students and that it is difficult for her to interact with her peers as a student and biochemistry teaching assistant.

Freshman forensic science major Jennifer Tucci said it has been difficult to adapt to college life because of the new guidelines. She was not assigned a roommate and says she and other students in the same predicament felt lonely during the fall semester.

“I know many people who do not have friends on campus and have considered transferring due to the loneliness and boredom,” said Tucci. “The guidelines do not foster growth for students, instead they stifle freedom and the social aspect we look for from college.”

Tucci said, “I am nervous and feel uneasy about the semester. I feel that student’s concerns from last semester weren’t addressed, so it feels like we aren’t being heard.”

The Charger Bulletin also received submissions via an Instagram poll asking students to submit their overall thoughts about this semester.

Instagram user @theonlyeldrick said, “Whether it’s a class or a club, safety should always be a priority.”

Instagram user @angvolino said, “It’s definitely different and challenging but as a community, we push through it all.”