Students are now able to attend events and meet in-person due to lowered COVID-19 regulations. Collegian file photo.
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After a school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, students arrived back on campus in mid-August with the prospect that this year might provide more opportunities for a more “normal” college experience. Students were greeted with a student orientation schedule full of activities and lifted COVID-19 restrictions, despite still having to wear masks indoors.
The Collegian polled students via Instagram on topics including their academics, social lives and feelings on Butler’s current COVID-19 protocols.
What has been your favorite event/activity so far this semester?
Butler students said they were generally satisfied by events scheduled throughout the first month of the semester. The University Program Council, UPC, has put on a variety of events, such as blacklight Bingo and free money game show, that @kbstans said they especially enjoyed.
Another user, @mc.beck, said that Homecoming was their favorite on-campus event so far this semester.
“It felt like campus was finally getting back to normal,” @mc.beck said.
Instagram user @hadley.pitre’s favorite part of the activities offered in the past month was the opportunity to make friends and meet new people, particularly through joining student organizations.
Abby Fulton, a first-year political science and peace and conflicts double major, agreed that student organizations have provided great opportunities for her on campus. She said her favorite activities in her first month at Butler were led by student organization Cru.
Now that we are a couple of weeks into the semester, how are you feeling academically and mentally?
The Collegian asked students this question using a sliding bar poll and received 70 student responses. Some students responded to the Collegian saying they were feeling very positive, while others were feeling very negative. However, most students said they felt somewhere between the two extremes, with the average answer falling pretty much at the center of the bar.
Fulton said she feels positively about her first month on campus, with a nice balance between school and personal life.
“I am feeling great,” Fulton said. “My classes are not very stressful, and I feel like I have a lot of time to hang with friends and do my own activities.”
What are things you are doing in your free time now that some restrictions have been lifted?
Although the rate of COVID-19 infections has been on the rise over the last few weeks, campus life has started to slowly return to what it was before the pandemic.
One user, @_johncunningham_, said they have been using the Health and Recreation Complex, which is now back at full capacity.
Other students identified spending time with friends, outdoors and returning to jobs that were restricted last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Do you feel safe on campus this semester with current COVID-19 protocols?
Butler currently has a vaccination rate of over 90% and maintains restrictions, such as masks in all indoor spaces, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Even with these protocols in place, there were students who responded to the Collegian’s sliding bar poll saying they still do not feel sufficiently safe.
The overall average for student responses to the poll was past the bar’s center point, indicating that most feel relatively safe on campus with current protocols in place.
How do COVID-19 protocols on campus differ from those in your hometown?
Some students responded that COVID-19 restrictions, such as mask mandates, are more relaxed in their hometowns. Fulton said this is the case in her hometown of Hanover, Ind.
“Covid restrictions are very strict [at Butler] compared to my hometown,” Fulton said.
Other students said their hometowns are more strict regarding masks and other safety practices.
User @Hadley.Pitre said, “At home we still have to wear masks outdoors and cannot be in large groups of people.”
Although the last 18 months have been challenging in a variety of ways, nearly all students responded affirmatively when asked by the Collegian if they feel campus is “back to normal.”