Return to SAIT campus met with mixed reactions

Stan Grad Centre: Aman Kaur stands in front of the Stan Grad Centre on the SAIT campus on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. She waits for her friend to go with her into the classroom. (Photo by Amandeep Kaur/The Press)

SAIT is reopening on Monday, Feb. 28 for in-person classes after months of prolonged online classes due to COVID-19, and students have many different views about the reopening of campus to in-person classes.

Dawson Andrew Thomas, vice president of SAITSA and second-year hospitality student, shared concerns about switching to in-person classes after nearly two-years of being in online studies and getting used to the online academic environment.

“I think I [have] grown to become very familiar with online, and I have only had the opportunity to have one in-person semester and that was last semester in the fall. So, going into this semester now doing it online, my first initial thought was not again, I already do [it all] online and can do it again,” said Thomas.

Thomas said that personally at this point in his fourth and final semester, he is used to online studies and being in his own home, but he will not be as impacted as others may be when it comes to going back to in-person or online classes. On the other hand, SAIT’s decision to return to campus may affect other students for personal reasons.

Regarding COVID-19 safety restrictions, Thomas said that everyone has their feelings about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing on campus, as maybe some students do not feel that they need to wear a mask because they have grown tired of it. However, for some people, wearing a mask is just a normal habit, and they are used to it.

“I am very much on that side of the spectrum where I have just kind of gotten used to it at this point, like it is just like a part of my life. And so, I think it is going to be a weird adjustment us to all of a sudden go without a mask,” said Thomas.

According to Thomas, it is beneficial for students to attend in-person classes, because in-person is a perfect study environment at SAIT. Also, being in person will allow students to take part in other curriculum activities on campus. By going in-person, students will also be able to make new friendships and gain leadership experiences if they want to.

I think I [have] grown to become very familiar with online, and I have only had the opportunity to have one in-person semester and that was last semester in the fall. So, going into this semester now doing it online, my first initial thought was not again, I already do [it all] online and can do it again. – Thomas.

Aman Kaur Khokhar, an information technology student at SAIT, also shared her views about her feelings to return to campus.

“I am really excited to meet my friends whom I meet only through Teams and my instructors whom I heard talking and only watched them when they [are] on the camera. I am so excited to meet them in person,” said Aman.

Aman said that after returning to campus it should be a personal decision of a person to wear a mask or not as almost everyone is fully vaccinated and there is less fear of COVID-19.

According to Aman, it is beneficial for students to join in-person classes because it will give them new opportunities to achieve and experience more by attending in-person classes.

About Amandeep Kaur 6 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Amandeep Kaur is working as a writer for The Press in 2022.