HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In early September, James Madison University moved classes online after a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the university began the hybrid model of in-person and online classes, again.
Lily Joyce, a junior math and statistic major at JMU, said Monday was the first time she had been back on campus since the start of the semester. She chose to have all of her classes online.
“I don’t feel like it’s the safest place, especially with all of the students around. So I figure if I can stay in my apartment, then I might as well,” Joyce said.
Some other students said they are nervous about being on campus.
“I do feel a little apprehensive going back just because of the coronavirus and possibly being exposed,” Giovanni Gibbs, a graduate student studying public history at JMU, said. “Then there’s also the fear of what if we have to transition back to online learning.”
Other students said they are happy to be back on campus and the transition hasn’t been too bad.
“I’m happy to be able to do my music things in person,” Andrew Sheloski, a senior music education major at JMU, said.
“It’s not super different for me, but I know other people in other areas of study, this is probably a big adjustment for them and I know some people are pretty worried about it too,” Leo Prothero, a junior music education major at JMU, said.
The students agree: they hope everyone does their part to stay safe.
“I feel safe to the best of my ability because I do take precautions to protect myself and protect everyone around me. I’m a firm believer in wearing the mask, but I’m fearful for other students who may not take the precautions as seriously who could put other students, such as myself, in danger,” Gibbs said.
“I know I do the necessary precautions but I don’t think a whole bunch of other people do, per se, so it just has me a little weary,” Sheloski said.
JMU spokesperson, Caitlyn Read, said about 3,000 students originally left the residence halls and the university is excited to welcome them back.
She said they are also seeing drops in positive cases and are looking forward to a safe and productive rest of the semester.