Slippery Rock University started officially welcoming students back on campus the weekend of Jan. 29. While many students are residing at home or in off-campus apartments, there are approximately 700 students living on campus.

The spring semester is presenting some changes for students on campus. The biggest change is a new guest policy that has been put in place. On-campus residents are able to visit one another’s dorms from 7:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.

Although many students welcome the change, many are also frustrated that there is not more time to visit their friends for a variety of different activities.

Sophia Bottone, a second-semester freshman at SRU, voiced one of her biggest struggles this semester.

“My biggest complaint is that Boozel is now only open until 7 or 8 p.m. and it’s hard to coordinate eating with your friends,” Bottone said. “It’s tough luck if you want to eat with your friends because so many of our classes run late.”

Sophomore Jill Patterson believes the university is doing its best given the circumstances.

“I am enjoying having my own space, but it is depressing to look outside and see the campus so empty,” Patterson said. “I do have to say, they are doing their best and taking all the necessary precautions.”

Dorm arrangements had to be adjusted to align with COVID-19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Those who are residing in suites are still able to live with their original suite mates. Other on-campus residents are in dorms of their own. North and Rhoads Halls are not currently in use.

On-campus freshman are facing some struggles transitioning to college. There is an expectation to make friends but with no in-person classes and so few people on campus, that is proving to be a hurdle difficult to get over.

Freshman resident Alexa Juska touches on her struggle with this.

“It sucks there aren’t as many people,” Juska said. “It’s hard to meet people. But I am looking forward to expanding my friendships whenever campus is more open.”

Students at home and on campus are both experiencing the struggles of making Zoom friendships. The impacts of this minimal interaction are being felt by all students.

Bottone elaborated on another downside to being on-campus in these times. Being at home presents environmental challenges for students when it comes to learning, and this had a big impact on Battone choosing to reside on campus.

Being on campus, in her experience, has helped create a studious environment and study habits that she wouldn’t have had at home.

“I feel like I’m wasting money to make good habits,” Battone said.

There are pros and cons to residing on campus and many students share similar opinions. There is hope to a more active campus in the fall, with more students and less restrictions.

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Sarah is a sophomore with a double major in integrated marketing communication and professional writing. She has a passion for writing and she enjoys relaxing in her spare time. This is her second semester as The Rocket’s campus life editor, and she is so excited to be in person and connecting with everyone again.

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