What Does Life Look Like for Students Still on Campus During COVID-19?

Editor’s Note: Updated May 6, 2020 for name clarification.

Although in-person classes have been cancelled for the semester, many students remained on campus while taking online classes. With most students gone and many services going online, life on campus has changed drastically from what we are used to.

As students left for spring break, SMU informed them that classes will be online until April 6. However, the COVID-19 pandemic escalated with Dallas County eventually placing a shelter in place order. With the changing situation, SMU moved all classes online and asked that students remain at home.

“Campus is a ghost town. Food is much more limited now and mail is by appointment only,” said first-year Rowan Goble.

“My family lives overseas. By the time things got serious, I couldn’t go home and my family can’t come here,” said Goble.

Other students echo the emptiness seen throughout campus since most students are off campus and ground services have been halted.

“You won’t run into a lot of people and when you do, it’s usually the dining hall. Arnold is open, but only a few stations are functioning. You have to swipe yourself in and everything is to go. The workers serve you instead of you serving yourself,” said Wren Lee, a sophomore.

Lee also emphasized the difficulty in returning home due to travel issues caused by COVID-19.

“I live in Seattle and Seattle was worse than Dallas before spring break. So my mom thought it was better for me to stay,” said Lee.

Overall, students still on campus believe the university is doing its best to keep students safe, but wish there was more communication in regards to the recently reported cases of COVID-19 on SMU.

“I think [SMU] has done the best it can. While I wish there was more information spread to students about staying safe and what’s happening on campus for safety measures, there has been some information communicated,” said Lee.

The pandemic managed to change campus life in an instant in a way nobody could have predicted. Out of precaution, SMU has also halted all groundskeeping services, thus allowing the plants and grass around campus to grow naturally.

“It’s nice to walk around campus when it’s empty. Everything is being cleaned regularly, but all the ground services have stopped. It’s nice to see something bloom for once, and the grass is long and looks real,” Goble said.