SAN MARCOS, Texas - It wasn’t exactly the welcome back university students were expecting but students were happy to be on campus.
Texas State sophomore Meredith Galloway has about half her classes online and the other half in person.
“It feels good to be back but it’s kind of weird it looks like there are not that many people,” said Galloway. “It feels like campus is really empty but it’s good to be safe.”
Galloway appreciated all the steps Texas State has taken to keep students safe. The Bobcat Shuttle she rode in had fewer than 20 students and everyone inside the bus is required to wear a mask. Sandy Pantlik, Assistant Vice President for Communications, said the university has been working on reopening plans since the summer.
“We continue to adjust as we need to and we continue to ask our community to be a part of that shared responsibility, to take care of one another, to wear their masks, to keep their distance and to make sure that we can all stay healthy together,” said Pantlik.
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About 42 percent of classes are being offered online to Texas State and 58 percent attend in-person instruction.
Sophomore Ashley Melendez transferred from Fort Worth this year and learned this week she will have all her classes online. “I was having troubles with it this morning,” she said, referring to her Zoom class meeting. “I couldn’t log in to the school one but I was able to log into my regular one. So I did have trouble with that for my first class.”
Zoom, the video conferencing system, was down nationwide for a couple of hours.
On top of a hill in south Austin, St. Edward’s University opened its doors Monday. The private university is operating with smaller classrooms. requires all students to wear masks and students can utilize a daily symptom screening.
Justin Sloan, VP of Effectiveness and Planning, said about 800 students will live on campus out of 7,000 attending the university. St. Edward’s University has been commended by Austin Public Health for its COVID-19 reopening plan.
“The biggest thing the university has invested in our planning for the year has been choice. Ensuring that students as a return for the fall semester have a choice whether they want to access campus and utilize services, sit in a class in person,” said Sloan.
Gabriel Erwin transferred to St. Edward’s as a junior and hopes students will take the virus seriously and be respectful of one another. “Don’t party, just stay home so we can get this thing because I’m really sick of being inside,” Erwin said.