We asked, you responded – first week back results


Mitch Smith, Managing Editor for Print

STATESBORO —During Georgia Southern’s first week back to school, The George-Anne created an open form that allowed students, faculty and staff to share their experiences anonymously with one another.

We asked, “Did you have any concerns or comments about your on campus experience?” and you said:


“All of the teachers and faculty made this new norm adjustment so much easier! They were so kind to any questions and have been so accommodating with all of their students schedules! This first week has definitely been an experience for all of us and I’m so thankful to our GSU staff for helping this transition!”

“My concern is that students don’t understand what social distancing truly means. I’ve seen a lot of people who think that they’re 6 feet apart, but they aren’t. And then on top of that, they don’t wear a mask because they think that social distancing by itself is enough to stop the spread. One example of this is that, yesterday, I watched someone take off their mask to sneeze, and a group of masked people walked right into it. These kinds of behaviors do not slow down the spread.”


“The Administration/ Leadership has turned the University into a “Circus”!!”

“There is still concern about students, faculty and staff not covering their faces or social distancing. Look at what happened at UNC – who 60 minutes reported earlier this summer about their very comprehensive and serious plan they were implementing. UNC lasted 1 week before they just announced going to online instruction starting Wednesday.”

“I love all the precautions the school is taking but I still feel some people aren’t taking them all seriously. I get people think the masks are uncomfortable and they don’t like social distancing but its not for them its for the people around them and I wish they would see that. I also wish they had a better layout for entrances and exits in buildings sometimes it can take twice as long to get somewhere because you have to walk all the way around the building to find an exit door.”


“Social distancing and mask wearing are not being taken seriously by most of the students!”

“People need to space out when standing in line and not crowd together when entering / exiting buildings and rooms. Everyone needs to wear an actual mask at all times that covers both nose and mouth.”

“Even though I said positive its because I missed human contact. I did an online internship all summer and hated being remote. However, I found out that in the IT building, the classrooms are only given one baby wipes to clean the desks and monitors for all semester. That is not going to last so I am wondering what they are going to do.”

“Frankly, I have too many concerns about our return to campus. I drove down Greek Street on Saturday and, if that is how seriously the rest of the student body takes Covid, we will, once again, be an online university by Labor Day.”


“I am in the nursing program, and I think our teachers and faculty have done an amazing job organizing our classes. As nursing majors we truly must have class and labs in person, and we need our clinical experience as well. I am so proud of our program for making sure we can safely have class, lab, and clinical, and I hope the University continues to allow us to stay on campus!”

“The students are going to bars, not wearing masks, gathering in crowds and we’re still expected to see them face to face? I think that’s wrong. If the students don’t care about our health, maybe we should care for ourselves.”

“There are still far too many students roaming the campus along with entering and exiting the buildings. It is very difficult to open a door that has just been touched by many other people and not feel that you have been contaminated. I believe doors should have foot operated door openers to minimize the amount of people touching doorknobs. Thank you for your consideration. I hope to see these hands free openers installed on campus soon for the overall health and safety of students and staff. This article refers to the transfer of Covid-19 through surfaces such as door handles: https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/coronavirus-and-surfaces-know-this-before-grabbing-that-door-knob/”

“I am doing classes virtually since I am high risk and it going well for this first week. I just want to shout out SARC and the College of Education for handling accommodations for students doing classes virtually due to COVID. All of my professors are so accommodating and are very organized, it’s not surprising COE is the best college on campus for a reason. I was nervous about how this semester was gonna go but my professors have eased a lot of my concerns.”

“Administrative retaliation against faculty that speak out. Students are losing faith in their Professors because the faculty are the face of the university and being forced to work in these class formats that are not the best choice for safety and pedagogy. And most importantly I am very concerned that people will die, be hospitalized for long times, have long term health issues, and go bankrupt paying for all of that (faculty, staff and student families).”

“It’s nice to see everyone in person again and hear about their work from home experience. Everyone is observing the “Eagles Do Right” guidelines.”

“I am excited to get to work on a new semester!”

“My only concern is the possibility of going online. My roommate and I both signed a year lease with the university staying person to person. I hope it continues to do so. If it comes to shutting campus down, I hope they send a vote out to students first. Those that have classes that don’t need hands on experience or labs should be the first ones on boarded to an online learning environment. Those of us whose majors are centered around hands on application/labs should be allowed to remain on campus for labs and lectures.”

“So far the new semester has opened quite well. Although not seeing as many students on campus and in classrooms is a bit odd. The technology my team is responsible for is operating as expected and we have had few issues to resolve. The Covid-19 pandemic has been rough on all of us, and while in-person classes have their drawbacks it seems everyone is doing their best to limit exposure. It is good to see the community come together to help prevent the spread as best as we can however.”

“I was excited when we started using the Starships to deliver food and beverages!”

“not alot of people are wearing mask during this covid thing”

“Hope every body wears there mask hope the lime scooters are gone”

“So far people are social distancing around campus. The problem is not on campus it is the bars off campus that are no using the CDC guide lines and making sure that everyone is social distancing.”


“No not at all, so glad to be back!”

“My exact concern is now a reality, as staff, we’ve likely been exposed to COVID-19, but have not and will not be notified by upper management. There will be no accommodations made for any staff member who’s been exposed. I have a 90 year old grandmother. I am no longer able to see her or help her from fear of getting her sick.”

“I has been wonderful to see the campus come alive again!”

“I was impressed by how many people were wearing masks on campus. However, the way some of my courses were set up make absolutely no sense. For my Math class, some students had to meet in a classroom just to watch a zoom meeting where the teacher was at home (?). The examples were already worked out, and it was pretty much a walk-through of the slides more than anything actually being explained/demonstrated. It felt way too detached compared to an in-person lecture. In other courses, the amount of students present significantly exceeded the designated capacity of the room. This meant that some people didn’t have access to computers. In that same lecture, the participants on zoom said they had a really hard time hearing the teacher, and as a result ended up getting distracted pretty frequently. As far as housing’s concerned, this is where I have my biggest issue. The no-guest policy in dorms really doesn’t make much sense. It’s understandable to prohibit large indoor gatherings, but if it’s a matter of one or two extra people in separate rooms at a time, I see no issue with it, especially if you spend most of your time with them on campus anyway. Keeping a healthy mind seems to have been emphasized by the university, but policies that restrict good friends or even significant others from spending quality time with each other directly contradict that value. The alternatives that have been proposed to us are not only impractical, but also seem to actually put you at more of a risk of catching the virus than not. Who’s going to want to do a social distancing picnic or go walking when the heat index easily passes 100 degrees? Aren’t students more likely to catch the virus the longer they’re on campus? It seems to me that the college isn’t as concerned about the well-being of its students as it is staying open. I’m perfectly content with remote learning. However, nothing about this is remote, aside from the teachers. It feels pretty condescending that we’re expected to report to a physical classroom with people who we don’t know at all for several hours just to watch a zoom meeting, but we’re not allowed to spend time with even a single person whom we know very well. If all of our courses can be hosted on zoom, what’s the point in coming back to campus?”

“My first day back consisted of watching students try to make their way into class without masks on, or wearing their face coverings halfway down their chins. It honestly feels like a game at this point of who’s gonna get the virus first. I’m disappointed with how some of the student body is treating this virus. Seeing all of these kids flooding outside of Dingus made me realize we’re all going to be sent home early again. I’m also disappointed with Southern. I don’t think the school handled the situation well, and I don’t feel that I can trust them with anything at the moment. We lost a professor to this virus, someone who dedicated years to this university, and all they wanted to email me about was the football team. I’ve lost all sense of school pride at this rate. I just want to get my degree and go.”

“Sure I have concerns about Covid, but my supervisor is doing a great job supporting us and keeping us informed.”

“Yes, I am worried about my wife, who is disabled and high risk, catching COVID-19 and dying. The administration does not share my concern. I was also denied an alternate workplace, such as working from home and being allowed to use Zoom with a facilitator in the classroom. I myself am too healthy even though I am 62.”

“There should be a bus going to the shooting sports center. It doesn’t make sense for their to be classes there and not a bus stop that’s not 30 minutes away”

“No, not at the moment”

“I feel like some people won’t wear their mask”

“The entirety of the last two week of class have just been confusing. Schedules are broken up so I don’t go into certain classes for weeks at a time or on every other day. Professors have already gotten into the habit of canceling class with short notice and hosting on zoom instead, but if you’re a commuter that means sprinting to the library to use a pc or joining off your phone. I just hope classes continue to be taught through the zoom meetings instead of using them as Q&A sessions. Because uploaded video lectures and modules usually end up going way over time but we the students still have to keep up with it if we want to pass.

I hate that our campus is a maze. Any building you walk into, every door is labeled for just entry and just exit. There are designated stairwells that you can go up but not down and vise versa. Starting classes and finding the right rooms is hard enough without having to navigate a maze. In all honesty, it does not make sense. If we wear masks and respect social distancing why cant I go in and out the same door?”

“I saw a handful of students choosing not to wear a mask, but no one is enforcing it. Which has me worried that the cases in Statesboro will go up by the end of the week.”


“Zoom meetings/online presence of professor seems “clunky” and awkward. Wish there was a better way to share material live. Also, in person classes seem unnecessary if all the material is required to be posted online anyway.”

“The change in class schedules and bus routes are my main concerns. The removal of the bus route going down forest drive was not the best idea in my opinion. It takes time to walk the track from the top of campus to the bottom, one that the bus obviously shorten. All of my classes are at the bottom of campus, so with no bus, it takes more time, that I may not have in between classes to go to the top and come back. And while i think the group schedules for classes were a good idea, i think some things should be fixed. If I have 15 mins in between 2 classes where the first one is F2F and the 2nd is virtual, I still can’t leave campus because that’s not enough to return home before the next class starts. So i have to find spots on campus to join the class. or the other way around where the first class is virtual and the 2nd F2F, now i have to come to campus early, to have time to go to the next class. It defeats the purpose of the limiting those in class of people aren’t actually leaving campus.”

“I am a graduate student in the Public History certificate program and elected to delay my practicum because of the potential COVID-19 dangers on campus and at the site of my internship. (I am a retired journalist and was awarded an M.A. in World History at the Armstrong campus in 2019.) I’m deeply concerned about the graduate assistants who are being forced to work in the classroom this semester to help professors working from home (as they understandably protect their own health.) The GAs have no choice but to work on campus because they were told they would lose their tuition waivers and stipends permanently if they took the semester off. The GAs have also been directed to enforce the mask requirement in the classroom, putting them in the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous position of confronting non-compliers.”

“I saw a lot of kids not wearing masks and it looked like nothing was being done to reprimand them. It’s also really difficult to navigate between zoom and online classes, especially with them being back to back. Not looking forward to to the rest of the semester. I kind of just wish we would go fully online.”

“I have very few classes on campus this year. Many of them have moved to Zoom meetings. Is there someplace on campus that I could be to have these meetings so that I am not at home all the time?”

“I am so excited to be back! I know these changes haven’t been easy for the faculty, staff, and students; however, Georgia Southern has been amazing throughout it all in making a healthy, safe learning environment for everyone. Go Eagles!”

“I don’t consider 35 minutes in a class per week or even 35 minutes every other week and ” in – person” schedule. In addition, why is tuition the same amount nevertheless there are less resources available?”

“Move-in was great and can not wait to see how the semester goes.”


“I like being on campus, however the class schedule can be really confusing and it feels as if it would just be easier if it were all online.”

“Did not happen, classes were online via zoom”

“I personally have been concerned with returning to campus especially when the pandemic is just as bad as it was in the spring. I have type II diabetes so I am at risk but I take as many precautions as I can to be safe. I’m almost certain we will go back to online schooling soon as I see this return as rushed due to the school losing millions of dollars last spring and trying to get that money back by getting people back into dorms and buying dining plans etc. we will see how this unfolds though.”

“My principle concern is with how the dining commons is handling their services. To me, it doesn’t make sense to put meals behind a paywall for students where traditionally the Blue and Gold plans were both unlimited (now Blue = 14 meals/week and Gold = 19 meals/week). Forcing students to cough up more money in order to be allowed more meals under the guise of social distancing isn’t right. Let it be known I’m no anti-masker. But I think that these measures taken by the Dining areas are taking things too far and may negatively impact students.”

“I think GSU is doing better than most other universities and schools.”

“I was Surprised to see so many people wearing masks and following rules! People seemed to be keeping their distance on campus!”

“No one took the 6 feet apart distance seriously when standing up in class or in the hallways. Also, what’s with the “only going up” stairs? The stairs is the least of the schools problems if people are still hugging and fist bumping on the first day of classes. some of the kids didn’t wear a mask”


“I had no concerns with my on campus experience.”

“It seemed at a lot safer than I thought. I think Georgia Southern has done a much better job about concerns with the virus than other colleges!”

“The Registrar’s office denunciation to trying to help all student regardless if our office is not the primary avenue for service.”

“It is clear that GSU is woefully unprepared. No random testing which other universities are doing and even worse, not testing folks that are exposed to a positive case but not showing symptoms. UNC was smart enough to pull plug at 150 cases but they were executing many times the tests of GSU. I have witnessed two call to CARES; in both cases, the response and been dismal with regards to direct information and extremely delayed (6 hours in one case). It is clear that GSU is not being transparent- took too long to put up cases publically but still not providing data regarding how many tests executed and % positive. If GSU admin is afraid to publish %positive it is clear they realize they are not sufficiently testing in a true random sample as leading experts have recommended and the CDC (until today they pulled back that recommendation secondary to political pressure from the white house). To paraphrase an authority I read who stated it best, “university administrators who choose to force in person classes are opting for premeditated mass murder and should face individually full accountability for their choices”- not direct quote but very close. If I were a student, I would be not very happy administration forced in person classes, brought folks back to campus only to have such an “atypical” college experience despite suggesting otherwise. I fully recognize that if I were in my early 20s I probably would not worry about the consequences of COVID however there is increasing evidence that young adults are not dying but left with sustained cardiovascular damage that may affect them for the rest of their lives.”

“Can’t think of any”

“I believe the university has done an adequate job at preparing students to return to campus. Capacities and face coverings will help with social distancing and reducing the spread. My major concern is the LACK of concern from other students in regards to the pandemic. Seemingly, very few have any regard for social distancing or face coverings when deciding to go out to the bars or parties hosted at houses. I believe that if the university shuts down again due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, it will be because of students choosing to not socially distance and wear their face coverings on their leisure time rather than their time spent on campus.”

“I’m currently not allowed to attend the first week of classes. Guess why? I’ve had exposure to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. I’ve been told to self-quarantine in my apartment that I share with three other roommates. The CARES Center at Georgia Southern has been an amazing help. They have been nothing but professional and on top of things. I hadn’t even stepped foot on campus, and this happened already. I was so excited to be back to taking classes. This virus is serious. Imagine this. After hanging out with a few friends, people you are around all the time. One of you wakes up in the middle of the night with chills, a high fever, and a dry cough. You panic. You live in a house with 4 other people. They’ve been exposed to you because you don’t wear a mask where you live. All those friends you are around all the time. None of you wears masks because you see each other all the time. Who do you call? What do you do? Who needs to get tested? How long will the test take to come back? Will your insurance cover the test? Were your classmates and professors exposed? Do you go to class? What if you have a test in your class? What about your job? Does everyone need to quarantine? How do I tell everyone I’ve seen that I’ve exposed them to coronavirus? How can I protect the people I love the most?”

“It has been a entirely new experience but so far it has been fun.”


“People aren’t wearing mask on a required campus.”

“The students are not taking social distancing and mask wearing seriously. The masks that were handed out to students and staff are awful, they lack a nose piece and fall down. The spacing for seats in the classrooms are not set up correctly thus the 6 foot requirement is not being met. Professors are doing the best that they can with what they have been give however this opening is NOT safe. Sitting in lectures for several hours with all doors closed, no windows is a perfect breading ground for spread.”

“I was very pleased to see students and faculty properly wearing their masks when possible and keeping social distancing in other cases. It was nice to be back in the classroom working with students and collaborating with colleagues again. I am hopeful for the semester, but there is still a different feeling to campus life overall (on-campus and commuting student traffic).”

“Honestly, there’s so much going on what with some classes barely having any time in between to get to my next class, that I would honestly prefer going online at this point just so we can be able to keep everything more organized.”

“I don’t know how many times I watched someone try to open the “exit door” to enter into the building.”

“Coming into this, I really thought I knew how online classes worked. I was seriously mentally unprepared for just how much self-teaching I have to do. It honestly felt like the difference between going swimming in the ocean verses being stranded in the middle of it. I mean, I can swim pretty well so I’ll probably survive… I’ll just be exhausted, crazed, and maybe missing a limb by the time it’s all over.”

“How to we get the Georgia southern face masks of we weren’t on campus yesterday but are a full time student?”

“A lot of people are wearing their masks incorrectly but wearing it below their nose.”

“Hi! I am concerned about how I will effectively keep multiple work, for different classes, organized by myself. Once or twice a week I may meet with my professor face to face with a few other students, but for the most part I feel like I’m on my own. Do I work on all 3 classes every day – or assign a day out of the week, for each class? How are other students staying organized at home? What is the best way to take multiple online classes, without getting confused?”

“No. Everyone wore masks and practiced socially distancing. Employees and students were very attentive to the requirements and followed our requirements.”

“I’m not worried about adapting to using different technology, I’m just concerned that if there are network issues or access to Folio and/or Zoom goes down during class time I won’t be able to deliver my classes. I’m also just hoping students “do right” and follow guidelines for face coverings and social distancing on campus, so it’s one less thing I have to worry about reminding them when attending classes in-person. So far the students have been wonderful and I’ve had no issues!”

“Yes, there are far too many students on campus not practicing social distancing or wear proper face covers. I also believe that it is very unsafe for students to touch door handles that could transfer the COVID-19 virus. I believe foot operated door openers should be installed to minimize contact with door handles. Having on campus classes is a ridiculous idea, and poses a massive threat to the safety of the campus and surrounding communities. What will it take to switch classes fully online? The death of a student or faculty member? These are difficult times for all, but the decision to have on campus classes was selfish and completely unacceptable. I hope that the university will come to their senses and make things right.”

“I saw a lot of people take off their mask once they got where they needed to which kind of defeats the purpose. I enjoyed my first day back but with few people on campus and socially distant classes the whole place just felt really somber and i hope soon it can be a more fun place.”

“GSU has approximately 25,000 students. There is no safe way to reopen universities or schools at this time. It’s silly to think that all students and professors can safely learn in a face to face environment. At close to 6 million cases in the United States, we have 170,000 deaths. What will it take to realize that it simply is not safe to stuff students into classrooms at the moment? Will a student or professor have to pass away for the university to respond accordingly? We are all eager to get back to normal, but pretending that universities and schools can reopen safely will cause another spike in cases, thus another spike in deaths. Adding onto the issue, ALL classes need an online option for students who do not want to risk their health and well-being in a classroom setting. I am shocked that this is not already the case. I am also shocked at how few people are wearing masks on campus. It is very nerve-wracking and uncomfortable when a group of students who are not wearing masks walks by you.”