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Returning students to the University of Washington adjust to changes in college life as classes begin · The Badger Herald

Student Life at the University of Wisconsin It will be very different this fall, especially as COVID-19 cases rise among college students during the first week of school.

Beginning on September 7, Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent a message asking "college students to severely limit interaction in person "and restrict movement only to essential activities for the next 14 days. The mandatory masks indoors were also extended to outdoor spaces on campus.

Sept. 9, Chancellor Blank announced that students living in the Witte and Sellery residences would be instructed to self-quarantine until September 25 and, as of September 10, almost all face-to-face courses transitioned to remote instruction for the next two weeks.

University of Washington spokeswoman Meredith Mcglone issued an email statement addressing the recent announcements.

“The measure, combined with an early week directive to significantly limit all in-person interactions by undergraduate students, aims to help stem a worrying and rapid increase of COVID-19 cases among our students off campus, "McGlone said in the emailed statement.

Because the UW did not set the guidelines for this fall until mid-July, many students had to figure out their plans for the fall semester with limited information.

According to the UW Smart Restart Guide, 45% of this fall's classes have an in-person component, but classes they will be completely virtual after Thanksgiving break. According to Blank's announcement on September 9, all face-to-face classes will be canceled from September 10-12 and will resume remotely beginning September 14 for at least two weeks.

Students in these classes must wear a face mask and maintain social distancing guidelines, in accordance with Smart Restart guidelines.

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University of Washington third-year student Na'ilah Ali, She decided to stay with her parents at their home in Kenosha after learning over the summer that her on-campus job at the Center for Cultural Enrichment would be remote.

"I had thought all my classes would be virtual too, so I thought why can't I just stay home and save money," Ali said.

As the fall semester approached, Ali, who specialized in violin playing, realized that she would have to abandon a hybrid course with a classroom component, which according to her, it was really frustrating.

Ali said that he will try to keep up with his course work this fall, as opposed to the spring semester when he lost motivation after classes switched to the Internet. Ali added that she will work to be patient with teachers who are new to teaching virtually.

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“I miss when things went good, ”Ali said. "Whereas now, there are all these technical difficulties that make life so much more stressful."

For UW students who decided to return to Madison, they came to a changed campus. Shell and Nielsen tennis stadiums were previously only open by reservation and at 25 percent maximum capacity, but Blank's recent statement reversed that decision and now all gymnasiums on campus are closed.

Campus dining rooms are still closed to the public and all residences are closed to residents who do not reside in the dwelling, in accordance with University Housing . Blank's statement said that residents will no longer be able to bring guests who live in other hallways.

Campus Community COVID-19 testing is in full operation at Henry Mall and the Fluno Center with random and voluntary mandatory testing in accordance with University Health Services .

Pablo Acquiles-Sánchez, a senior at the University of Washington, returned to an off-campus cooperative in July after it closed in March. He said he felt the need to return in part due to an in-person discussion section required for his specialty.

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But Acquiles-Sanchez, a sociology major, said he's trying to be smart about their interactions on campus. He said he has been careful to wear masks and carry hand sanitizer when in public.

“I literally just go to class and go home,” Acquiles-Sanchez said, to do her part to protect her housemates.

Trinity Cross, a senior at the University of Washington, said she left her apartment off campus in June but returned to Madison in August. Your concerns about COVID-19 stem from the fact that you have asthma, so if you got infected it would likely affect you more than other people.

Cross said that seeing her fellow Badgers in groups without masks angers her because she thinks it's reckless. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, at least 74% of the new cases since Sept. 1 came from the University of Washington.

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“I used to walk all the time when I was stressed and that it would help relieve stress, but now with [the virus] I'm a little scared to go out and walk, even with a mask on, ”Cross said.

Cross, who specializes in communication arts and human development and family studies, said he has an in-person discussion section at the Pyle Center this fall that will now be online during the next two weeks.

As Acquiles-Sanchez, she said that the course was mandatory for her specialty, so despite her concerns, quitting was not an option for her.

"I feel like if everyone really takes this seriously and gets tested and stays inside for the full two weeks, we could be better," Cross said.

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