IU’s winter intersession started this week and will last through Feb. 7, 2021. Students and faculty are presented with the option to stay at home and take advantage of additional courses provided by the university while practicing safe social distancing.
The IU administration hopes nothing unexpected happens and changes what it has planned for the spring semester. This decision, which was established over the summer, goes back to recommendations from state and federal officials about social distancing, such as adding an extra week of winter break and removal of spring break.
Junior Ramatou Soumare said at first she was confused about the winter session, but thinks it is a great way for students to have access to additional courses and resources while taking a break at home after a rough semester.
“It will at least give me a chance to relax and recuperate,” Soumare said. “I think the majority of students might appreciate just being able to have a break since the only break we’ve had is Thanksgiving break.”
She personally has not registered for any spring intensive session courses, but will be taking courses offered in the spring intensive session.
“I hope to do my best in the online format during the spring semester based on what I’ve learned from this semester,” Soumare said.
Although some students might appreciate this winter session, some are struggling with being at home and away from campus.
Senior Tasfia Chowdhury said she will use this winter session to be productive because there is not really any other choice but to stay at home and focus on school assignments. She said a lot of students are upset about their on-campus time being cut short.
“This is a time we can never get back,” Chowdhury said. “I think the majority of students, especially upperclassmen, are upset because this means less time with their friends and less time at college in general.”
Students are waiting for a return to campus in the spring and are hopeful they will have the chance to experience a normal semester again at IU.
Chowdhury said she is hopeful campus will be open for the spring semester because it is her last semester at IU. She wants to spend it with friends who have become more like family to her.
“I want as many people to be as safe as possible so I would understand if we couldn’t return,” Chowdhury said. “The priority is saving lives so whatever accomplishes that I would be content with the outcome.”
Senior Elise Lee said she is sure most of her classes will be in person next semester, especially because she is a biology major and has a lot of in-person laboratory classes to finish up before graduation in the spring.
“If things continue to get worse though, I definitely think it is possible that we will be forced to go back to online classes,” Lee said. “I hope that a lot of students will take the pandemic seriously and stay in for the holidays.”
According to one Indiana Daily Student article, IU administration will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases on a state and federal level to make sure plans are in place for students and staff to remain safe.