Classes are underway once again for many university students in KELOLAND.
The spring semester started Monday at South Dakota’s public universities.
Jazlynn Pederson is back on Dakota State University’s campus.
The sophomore says returning to school for the spring semester feels better than it did last fall.
“The beginning of last semester was a lot more scary to come back. This semester we’re a lot more prepared and we know exactly what to expect going into the first day of school,” DSU Sophomore Jazlynn Pederson said.
While COVID mitigation measures are still in place, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Crissenger says this semester does feel different.
“Expectations have been set. We did a lot of different things in the fall. We had changed our academic calendar. We had all these how to use the masks, how to space people out in classrooms, or even simple things, when they’re going to the marketplace for their meal times and things like that, so people have a better idea coming back of what they are facing. We kind of know what we’re facing,” DSU Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Crissinger said.
While Crissinger says the university will probably see COVID cases pop up, they’ll respond as necessary.
“We kind of have that process down so we feel good about that,” Crissinger said.
The vaccination rollout is also bringing about more optimism.
“I’ve talked to a lot of my friends and their parents have gotten vaccinated as health care workers and so we can see that it’s helping and with everybody taking the necessary precautions we can get back to normal or what new normal will be, hopefully in the fall semester,” Pederson said.
According to the South Dakota Department of Health’s website, teachers and other school and college staff fall under group 1D of the state’s vaccination plan.
The vaccine is expected to be available to that group starting in February.