Students are back on campus at the University of North Alabama and they are getting used to a different experience from years past.
Students say that the precautions the university has in place -- like masking, distancing, and no external visitors in dorms -- are a bit inconvenient, but they all believe it’s for the best.
“You just gotta try and do what you can to help,” Levi Jensen, a freshman, said.
Students like Jensen are still getting used to the guidelines they’re being asked to follow on campus this year.
“It’s hard to remember to wear a mask all the time,” Jensen said. “You kinda walk out your door and you gotta run back in and grab your mask.”
Students are also focused on avoiding large gatherings and figuring out ways to see their friends with the school’s current strict policies about visitors in dorms.
While the rules may hinder social interactions on campus, students feel the guidelines are strong and understand why they’re in place.
“Even though it is a bit inconvenient and annoying, to say the least, it’s a necessary precaution, a necessary step for the future,” senior Daurian Lewis explained.
Last week, the university told WAAY 31 that things are “so far, so good,” and that students had been almost surprisingly compliant.
Dr. Kimberly Greenway, the university’s vice president for student affairs, says now it’s important that the university community continue to apply that guidance -- both on and off campus.
“Because what we do off campus comes back and affects our community,” she said.
The university is aware that not every student will follow the guidelines, but they’re confident in the plans they have in place.
“The overall foundation of our recovery plan is very solid and any changes that we make are those that other health organizations are requiring or recommending that we make,” Greenway said.
The university has taken a strong stance on masking and noted that students who fail to comply may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and/or not allow them to attend the class until they wear a face covering.