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Welcome Back: What’s New?


Written by Jack Miller

Welcome back Maroons! Many exciting changes have happened on campus since our extended winter break. Many of which include added fun socially distant student activities! 

On account of low case numbers, the college has eased up slightly on the COVID-19 restrictions as of last semester– students are currently allowed to host one visitor (from their hall) in their room, provided both students wear masks.

In accordance with current local and state health guidelines, face masks are still required everywhere on campus. Students are asked to submit a digital preventative COVID-19 health assessment each morning. To promote a safer alternative to indoor interaction, the college has been busy constructing convenient outdoor meeting spaces, including the pavilions outside of New Hall and Chalmers Hall. 

Spring 2021 semester classes started on Monday, and although a majority of courses are held online, the college is offering in-person as well as FLEX options. FLEX courses combine traditional and virtual learning, creating a synthesis of learning formats in which students in the same section of the same class are allowed to choose whether to attend physical classes or continue online. 

This semester, Roanoke College is offering 85 percent of classes online, while the in-person and FLEX courses account for 15 percent of course offerings.  Most of the academic halls have designated socially distant classrooms, as well as other locations such as Massengill Auditorium and rooms in the Colket Center. While many professors are sticking to Zoom to host virtual lectures in their online classes, a few teachers, claiming being “zoomed out,” are planning on teaching through alternative mediums such as Skype and even Discord. 

In compliance with local and state COVID-19 guidelines, the Student Government Association has been planning fun in the form of socially distanced events for this semester. Events such as screenings of worldwide film festival winners and the opening of a new art exhibition in Olin Hall will be taking place later this month. 

As the seasons change and the weather improves, student activities have planned many events in anticipation of the return to the outdoors. Keep a look out for exciting events to come as this semester progresses. Stay safe and have a wonderful semester!