On April 6, 2021, an email from Jennifer Wise, Director of Communications, University Communications & Marketing, was sent to all students of Georgia Southern University about a decision on changing the starting day for next semester, Fall 2021.
According to the email, school will start on Wednesday, Aug. 11 2021 instead of Monday as usual. Planning for a full return on campus, school administration wants to develop more programs to enhance experiences of returning to campus for students.
“Following Operation Move-in on Aug. 6 and 7, you can expect and are encouraged to participate in a full schedule of events including picnics, music events, recreational activities, meet-and-greets, volunteer opportunities and much more,” Wise said.
Returning and new students will have opportunities and are encouraged to participate in school events to understand more about their campus and different organizations on campus.
“We want to make sure that you and all of our new students have the opportunity to learn about Georgia Southern’s traditions, create connections with peers, faculty and staff, and be well-informed of enrollment milestones and resources to attain successful support in your journey as an Eagle,” Wise said.
Students have different opinions regarding the announcement. Answering the question whether the change would affect their ability to adjust to their schedule, many students do not think that it is an issue.
“It won’t affect my schedule very much except for giving me more time to do other work not related to school,” said Michael Beke, a junior in music industry major.
“I like the idea of starting on a Wednesday. The first day of the semester is always hard but being on a Monday is even harder. I think this will give students the time to get their books and other things together,” Hannah Hester said, a junior studying interior design.
On the other hand, delaying the starting day might cause trouble for some students who are used to the old schedule.
With the school administration attempting a return to “normal” by holding events for students at the beginning of the year, there are some opinions regarding the safety or attending the events.
“I believe it is too soon to be attempting to go back to normal. We will still be required to wear masks and social distance but you can already see that going away. I think this will make students think that it’s time to ditch the masks and social distancing. Not everyone is vaccinated. I myself haven’t gotten vaccinated yet and I don’t plan to until we see the side effects of the vaccines and the FDA formally approves the vaccine. Our numbers have gone down but that does not mean we should start losing out on things,” Hester said.
There are different opinions on the decision of changing the starting day, most students think it is a good idea since they will have more time to prepare, some students think that it will throw off their ability to adjust to the schedule.
By attending the events that will be held in the first week of school, students will have opportunities to learn more about campus life, however, safety is still the most concerning issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.