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Troy students ‘pumped’ to return

The Troy University campus was a-buzz with activity on Wednesday as students returned to campus following an unexpected “spring break” due to COVID-19.

But, the campus scene was not one that anyone could have expected or imagined a few months ago. Students were wearing masks that muffled their voices as they scurried from place to place. There were no hugs or high-fives as students greeted each other but “We’re pumped” one young man said. “We’re here and we are pumped!”

Amid the activity on campus, Dean of Students Herbert Reeves and SGA President Nicole Jayjohn stopped long enough on the Social Quad to talk about their hopes and expectations for the fall semester.

Reeves said it one way, “To make it through the first semester.”  Jayjohn said it another: “To make it to Thanksgiving.”

Making it through first semester and to Thanksgiving would mean Troy University had successfully navigated through the challenges of COVID-19 and come out victorious on the other side.

Reeves said it was good to see the campus back in full swing. Students had the option of being back in the classroom or taking classes on-line.

Although registration is still underway, Reeves said there does not seem to be a big drop in the number of students on campus.

He said when dealing with large numbers of students there are always concerns but the university has make every effort to insure the safety of the campus during the pandemic.

Masks are required in the buildings and encouraged at all times on campus.

Classroom changes have been made to accommodate social distancing. Some classes are split so students are in class one day and on-line another.

The students are self-tracking. COVID-19 tests are voluntary but recommended for students who show any signs of the coronavirus.

Reeves said there has been one case of the coronavirus in a dormitory.

That person is off campus and at home and those who might have been exposed are isolated off campus.

The university has quarantine quarters available for those who need to be isolated.

Reeves said students are self-tracking and the university campus has safeguards in place to reduce the risks exposure.

“It was time for students to come back on campus and Troy University has offered our students the opportunity to be back,” Reeves said. “We will do all we can to make it through first semester.”

Jayjohn said students have returned to campus with the mindset of staying on campus.

“I haven’t seen anyone who is not wearing a mask,” Jayjohn said. “Everyone wants to stay safe and the guidelines that we must follow to do so are on social media. We all want some sense of normalcy.

To achieve that sense of normalcy and to enjoy the college experience, will require that each person does his or her part, Jayjohn said.

The SGA is searching for ways to offer events on campus that will bring that sense of normalcy to Troy University.

To have opportunities for that college experience, Jayjohn said the students must “focus on the positive and be positive” and then, making it until Thanksgiving will be more than just a possibility.