Sudbury·Audio

Students react and make decisions as Laurentian University announces reopening plans

As post-secondary institutions released plans for how they will operate in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are changing their plans.

Less than 1 per cent of courses will be in class, but 500 students will live in residence

Laurentian students Lexey Burns and Grace Bellmore will return to their studies this fall. Burns has decided to live on campus, while Bellmore is staying at home. (Submitted by Lexey Burns)

As post-secondary institutions released plans for how they will operate in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are changing their plans.

On Wednesday, Laurentian University in Sudbury released details of how the campus will be run in the fall.

The university says less than one per cent of courses will be delivered in person and the rest will be done online. Almost 500 students are ready to move back onto campus into residence. People on campus will be required to wear a mask.

Lexey Burns, a second year English student, says she will be one of those students returning to live on campus in residence.

She says she's excited to be going back.

"I feel like my first year was cut short," she said. "I'm very excited to make up for lost time. I have a few friends moving back up there and I'm very excited to get back into my studies."

The university is making changes for those living in residence. All double rooms are being converted into single rooms and extra cleaning will be done. Burns says she's pleased to hear of the changes, but says she was surprised at the number of students planning to live on campus. 

Lexey Burns says she's looking forward to living on campus at Laurentian University this year. (Submitted by Lexey Burns)

"It does make me a bit nervous as I've only been seeing a maximum of 10 people," she said.

"[But] I've associated my studies with being at school. I know I'll be able to do better and participate more in my courses. Even though I can't be in them physically, I know I'll be able to sit down, in my room, away from home distractions."

Grace Bellmore, a second-year equity, diversity and human rights student,  says she is returning to her studies, but won't be going back into residence. She says she's concerned about her health as she has epilepsy. 

"Residence can be kind of daunting," she said. "The infrastructure isn't there for social distancing. It's not the university's fault. It's no one's fault. It's a pandemic that's unprecedented."

Grace Bellmore says she decided not to live on campus this year. She says she's concerned about her health as she has epilepsy. (Submitted by Grace Bellmore)

Bellmore says she has an advantage that she's from Sudbury and can stay home. She says online classes will help her stay home to protect her health.

"I think my worry in class would be the social bubbles and the social distancing," she said.

Burns says she also has concerns about social bubbles and distancing, but says she's already discussing that with her future roommates.

"I will have my own personal room and share an apartment with two people," she said.

"We're friends and we're planning on staying in our own bubble. Maybe us plus another apartment that we'll be able to get together and social distance together."

The first day of classes for students in Sept. 9.

With files from Sam Juric

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