UMD Students Return to Campus on First Day of In-Person Classes

The halls were considerably bear on the first day of in-person classes with many students learning partially or completely online this year.

DULUTH, Minn.- After a two-week pause to work on safely welcoming students back, the University of Minnesota Duluth campus opened back up to students Monday.

However, many instructors still have their classes completely online, leaving the few students present to seek out the campus as a place to study, and escape.

“It’s been a little weird walking in and seeing like everyone not conversing like last year,” said Sophomore Mason Fischer. “But I mean you gotta do what you gotta do.”

The Board of Regents approved the two-week delay last minute at the end of August, pushing back move-in day and the start of classes. Those in-person classes will move online after Thanksgiving break.

The halls were considerably bare on the first day Monday, with many students learning partially or completely online this year.

“I would’ve liked to have at least, to be able to have a reason to come to campus and internet with other people but it is what it is I guess,” Senior Morgan Sewell said.

Being able to use campus space to get out and study is a blessing for Sewell. “I’m not doing a very good job of staying focused at home.”

“It’s kind of hard with roommates everywhere and stuff going on behind you so I came over here today to go to the library and see if that would help me focus a little better,” she said.

The Kathryn A. Martin Library does look different this year. It’s max capacity is 25% with a little more than half of the furniture available.

“We’re just hoping that all the Bulldogs will pull together and make the most of this time we have,” said Library Director Matt Rosendahl.

Some of the group study rooms are still open, and library instruction and research support are all provided online. The library has also provided more access to technology and internet for online students.

“We’ve invested in some additional e-books and e-journals and some of the online databases that we saw were heavily used in the spring,” Rosendahl said. “Whether they’re on campus or off-campus they need those for their classes.”

Meanwhile some students are looking at the positives of learning remotely. “I kinda got used to it with last year’s switch to online and it’s a lot better this year obviously,” said Fischer.

“I like kinda being able to wake up and make your breakfast while you’re watching your class,” he said. “But also you don’t really get that in-class experience.”

And for freshmen just starting their college career, like Ananta Joarder, a lot of experiences are no longer on the table. “A lot of people are kinda sad that like there’s no intramural sports and stuff like that.”

“But I plan to go to law school I’m looking forward to like pre-law club and mock trial,” he said.

Rounding out her time as a student, Sewell hopes to still make the most of her last year. “It’s not what we expected at all to have our last year at college.”

“But I don’t know, we’ve made a lot of memories the first three years and will continue to make them in smaller groups now,” she said.

The emptier halls, will have to serve as the backdrop.

“I guess it’s important to have a little campus community and as much as we can,” said Fischer.

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