By Ellie Gober | Image by Xixi Qin
So far, 2020 has been a year full of drastic changes to everyday life. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges across the nation have made adjustments to the normal experience for enhanced safety while on campus. As new Colorado College students arrive to campus, there are a variety of activities and events to partake in. Despite the school’s desire to create a warm welcome, the beginning of the year looks very different than it has in the past.
Due to the extended move-in, a quarantined hall, and social distancing measures, the majority of the New Student Orientation experience has been conducted virtually. Among new students, there is a general consensus that students would rather not be introduced to the college through Zoom. Despite the online format, appreciation for being on campus is a common sentiment among new arrivals, as well as new knowledge of available on-campus resources. Three of these areas have changed operations to stay accessible this year: teaching and learning resources, wellness and mental health resources, and campus facilities.
In order to make teaching and learning resources a viable option for students this year, all operations have moved to a remote format. Academic support will be virtual, unless a personal meeting is set up with a professor with social distancing protocols. The Colket Center for Academic Excellence will be offering remote tutoring, learning assistance, and adjunct courses.
Similarly, the Quantitative Reasoning Center (QRC) will be offering virtual study tables, course learning assistance, and individual tutoring. Accessibility resources are a priority for students, especially while class is in an online format, which can be challenging for many students.
The advising hub is still available through a virtual format as well.
Zach Klingner ’22, an NSO leader, said that it “seems like the professor-student dynamic and office hours were pretty severely impacted by the online format during Blocks 7 and 8 of last year.”
At a small liberal arts school, the relationship created between students and their professors is one of the best resources for students. In the spring of 2020, students had an initial experience with online class at CC and noticed a change in this important relationship. This dynamic will be important for professors and new students to recognize in class, whether online or in-person, as the academic year starts.
Wellness and mental health resources are also primarily online, with certain services offering in-person support. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increased stress and anxiety, and it is important to know that their help can be accessed if needed. The counseling center is offering appointments, with six sessions free to every student on campus.
The Wellness Resource Center also offers mental health resources, sexual assault response and prevention resources, and substance use education. In addition, the Butler Center is offering support and education opportunities designed to further CC’s goal of becoming an anti-racist institution that fosters a strong sense of inclusion. These resources are available for all students and should be used as needed. The feeling on campus has changed, and online resources will take a toll on student-staff relations this semester, but they are necessary to keep the community safe and at school.
Finally, the facilities at CC have had to adjust their operations for safety. There is now limited usage of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center. Students must be in the standard risk mitigation phase, and must sign up for an online time slot. Once a student arrives, they have to check in, during which their temperature is taken. Then the student can work out for up to 75 minutes. The fitness center staff needs at least 15 minutes in between each session to ensure that they can adequately clean the machines.
All dining halls are currently open with social distancing measures and limited time slots. Food is handed out in closed containers for the safety of students and employees. Tutt Library is also open for studying use, though students have to sign up for a space where seats are socially distanced. To enter any building on campus other than residence hall rooms, students are required to receive a negative test result and fill out the COVID questionnaire on the CC app.
Overall, campus feels different this year, despite best efforts to make it a semi-similar experience. No one knows when we will be able to resume normal operations. Resources are available, and school is in session. Below are easy ways to access CC’s many resources.
ITS: Solutions Center: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/its
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CLD) support: email@example.com
Thesis Writing Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
GIS Lab and Geospatial services: email@example.com
Student Opportunities and Advising Hub: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/advising-hub
Counseling appointments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing Center support: https://cc.mywconline.com
Accessibility support: email@example.com
Mental Health, Sexual Assault, and Substance Use resources: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/wellness/
Butler Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students can sign up for a time slot in the library here: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/library
Students can sign up for a time slot in the fitness center here: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/fitnesscenter/