GVSU’s mixed opinions on being back on campus


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Kayla Worthy, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s campus is buzzing with life this semester. This is extremely different than last year when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the school to go completely online. Few people chose to live on-campus and attend online classes from home. Whereas the minority of people that had hybrid classes weren’t able to experience GVSU the way it is today.

Now that the restrictions have been loosened, GVSU’s campus is open again. There are crowds of students outside during the day, almost like normal college circumstances just without the masks. However, there are mixed views on the return to campus. 

“I’ve never seen this many people on campus,” said sophomore Lauren Williams. “I’m excited to be here but at the same time, I’m not sure how to feel about it. It’s the experience I should’ve gotten last year and I want to be happy about it, but I just can’t help but feel like we’re going to be sent home.”

Last year’s circumstances have had a huge impact on the mindsets of students regarding participating in a “normal” school setting. It seems like a lot of students are apprehensive about being on campus for the exact same reason as Williams. With the uncertainties looming, students are afraid to have to make the switch back to online learning again.

“Anything can change for the worse,” said freshman Hannah Ramda. “It’s my freshman year and I don’t want the experience the sophomores had, but there are so many people outside at a time, usually with no mask on.” 

GVSU has mandated that all students planning to be on-campus get vaccinated by Sept. 30. There are clinics on-campus that administer the vaccine to students free of charge and offer both the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson. Many students agree that the vaccine is meant to make them feel safe and protected from COVID-19. 

“I was willing to come on-campus because of the vaccine mandate and indoor mask protocols,” Ramda said. “They made me feel safe.” 

Speaking of experience, it is different for everyone. That’s especially true for senior Maddy Yetman. 

“I was a transfer student to GVSU last year, so last year was my first year here,” Yetman said. “It’s kind of nice being able to go on campus for my last year and meet people, but at the same time I liked online classes because I could just stay home and do it.”

This is true for many students. While some students struggled with online learning, others did prefer it. However, professors would lean more towards the difficulties in this case.

“It’s hard going back and forth,” said geology professor Hannah Pankratz. “We had to learn a whole new way of teaching, a way of approaching helping students learn and technology.” 

The switch to online learning was hard for students and professors alike. The technological difficulties impacted everyone.

 “I felt like I was lecturing to a wall most of the time since everyone had their cameras off,” Pankratz said. “It was hard to know if students were actually learning anything from this new way of teaching.” 

Students who are still looking to be vaccinated can easily get the help they need at one of the various clinics GVSU has set up. Some of these include: 

Sept. 2: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – FOR GVSU ONLY – J&J and Pfizer Vaccine 

Eberhard Center – Pew Grand Rapids Campus – Room 102

Sept. 9: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – FOR GVSU ONLY – Pfizer Vaccine 

Holton-Hooker Living Center on the Allendale Campus

Sept. 20: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – FOR GVSU ONLY – J&J and Pfizer Vaccine 

Holton-Hooker Living Center on the Allendale Campus