BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Parking lots were full and so were students’ backpacks. Classes began at WVU Tech on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, and things looked a little different this year.
Carolyn Long is the Campus President of WVU Tech.
“Of course we are not used to seeing people with masks and we are used to seeing classes that are full,” Long explained.
Starting classes during a COVID-19 pandemic came with its challenges. Faculty staff and students were required to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Everyone is required to wear masks around campus. Although their faces are covered, they are still enjoying time with their friends and getting a head start on their studies.
Some students chose to continue with virtual learning.
“There are some that didn’t and they are online. There were some that felt uncomfortable and we understand that,” Long said.
Other students, like Isabel Barrio Sanchez, value the on campus experience.
“And also it is not the same experience for classes. I don’t learn as well online as I do in person,” Barrio Sanchez said.
One freshman, Nathan Williams, chose to attend WVU Tech, instead of a college far away from home. He said he can keep his family safe and still get an on campus education.
“Originally, I wanted to go to WVU or somewhere further than that, and leave Beckley. But it’s really convenient. We can get in person classes in my hometown and I don’t have to go anywhere and fear for my family’s safety or anything of that nature,” Williams said.
Although the masks can be a hassle, students Williams said it is worth it and it is important, so they can remain on campus.
“As long as everybody keeps their masks on and stays apart from everyone else, I feel like everything will go smooth and hopefully we can have a successful learning environment and learn what we need to do,” Williams said.