PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple University welcomed back students this week. But in the face of coronavirus, student life will be a lot different this year.
“I’m definitely a bit nervous and doing my best to keep myself safe,” freshman Mia Rose Thackston said.
All the nerves of being a freshman on campus, coupled with the nerves of a worldwide pandemic.
The Thackston family of Virginia moved their daughter into Temple University this week.
“I don’t worry so much about her behavior as I do about making sure everyone else is also being responsible,” Trish Thackston said.
To help control any spread of the virus, students living in dorms had to get tested for COVID-19 before moving in and testing will be done on a regular basis.
“I feel pretty comfortable. From what I’ve seen, most people seem to be wearing masks and they’ve taken precautions to make sure we have enough space in class,” Lucas Bowerman said.
When classes begin, Temple will be using a hybrid model that includes in-person and virtual learning. All students who choose in-person learning will also be tested regardless of their living situation.
The university is reporting at least six active cases on campus. Temple says students who test positive will be quarantined in separate dorms.
But at least one student group says that’s not enough.
The group, Temple Coalition for Change, is demanding the campus of 40,000 students be shut down.
In an online petition, they say there’s no foolproof way to maintain social distancing. They also cite recent outbreaks at other campuses as a reason to close Temple.
The university says they’re prepared to return to all-virtual learning if necessary.
But for Thackston, she says she’s just doing what she can to stay safe.
“Wearing my mask, distancing. I hope it will work out,” she said.