There is absolutely no denying that things look different this year on campus. Students and staff masked in all spaces, including the outdoors, temperature monitors at each individual entrance, and social distanced cafeterias are some of the biggest modifications of the fall semester in the era of COVID-19.

Masks aren’t just for Halloween anymore. One of the most obvious and physical precautions SHU has taken is the mask mandate. All students and faculty must be wearing a mask at all times. Yes, even outdoors.

While wearing a mask is one of the best ways to help slow the spread of COVID … wearing a mask outside seems a bit overkill. Of course it makes sense to wear a mask when you may be walking with a group and can’t properly social distance from one another, but when someone is walking alone on their commute to their classroom, it doesn’t make sense to mask up. Especially in the early weeks of the semester when it’s hot and muggy and you have to breath your own breath back into the mask.

This year students have to be strategic on their walks to and from classrooms. There is only one entrance per building, and to top it off students are greeted by a machine that takes your temperature. Knowing your temperature is vital to identifying symptoms of the virus. When these stations are used properly, they can stop a case from infecting others in the classroom.

There has been controversy if students have been using them correctly, though. It’s up to the student body and faculty and staff members to hold themselves accountable. When they enter the buildings, they should take that extra precaution of getting their temperature checked. It literally only takes a few more seconds out of the day and could potentially save lives. Students, faculty and staff should think twice if they decide to walk right past a monitor and put the lives of other people at stake.

Another big change on campus is the dining experience. Meals are not as they once were on campus.

This year Chartwells (SHU Dining) has given the students the option to take their meal on the go instead of sitting in the cafeteria with others. This dramatically cuts down on the people in the UC vicinity at the same time. It’s a great way to save time when you just want a quick meal and stay distant from a crowded area.

The dining service also isn’t taking cash anymore. This can be a problem for some as they might not have their card readily available as they do cash. Using a card for something small as a pack of gum doesn’t always make the best sense, but it doesn’t allow as many germs from dollar bills to be spread around.

There are many other things that SHU is doing a good job at to keel COVID-19 at bay. Overall, it seems to be working compared to other universities in the state, especially compared to cross-town Adrian College.

While some precautions make more sense than others, it is ultimately the everyone’s job to help keep the SHU safe. It feels good to be back on campus, and it can stay that way by taking the right measures.