HAMILTON, N.Y. (NCC News) — In a summer dictated by the coronavirus pandemic colleges and universities across the country are working against the clock. With the fast-approaching fall semester in sight, some students are still waiting to hear from their schools if they will be taking classes while sitting at a desk or while sitting on a couch at their homes.
Olivia Duarte isn’t one of those students. The rising senior at Colgate University knows where she will be studying this fall.
“Everything I would say is still up in the air,” Duarte said. “Besides the fact that we are planning as of now to go back to campus.”
With Colgate’s announcement earlier this month that it will be bringing its students back, Duarte will be the only one of four college-aged siblings to be on-campus when she returns this fall. Despite knowing this though, she still had questions about the school’s overall plan for a school year that will take place during a pandemic. Questions that went without a concrete answer.
“We never really got a detailed plan and I think there’s still a lot of questions going around,” Duarte said. “As far as those being answered people who are asking the questions are getting answers like, ‘We’ll let you know as soon as possible.’ or, ‘We can’t tell you at this time.'”
The best answer Duarte was given about the return to campus came from another source. As a member of Colgate’s women’s lacrosse team, she had been included in meetings with her coaches, the athletic director, and other student-athletes.
However, even though the meetings have been a welcome source of information, they’ve left Duarte wondering about the level of communication the school had not just with the various departments making up the university, but with the entire student body as well.
“I’m frustrated with the communication,” Duarte said. “I feel like it varies so much what different people are hearing and what different people are reading. It’s frustrating that there’s so much uncertainty and that so many people are hearing so many different things that I think it adds to the confusion and to a little bit of the panic going around.”