WKU students return to the hill, once again navigating COVID-19

WKU: Another Semester on the Hill, New Challenges due to COVID-19 @ 6
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It was a busy day on Monday for students on Western Kentucky University’s campus. Students once again learning to navigate another semester on the hill during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

WBKO spoke with students on campus and also WKU’s Director of Media Relations, Jace Lux, about concerns of starting another semester in this era of COVID-19.

“There’s some people that I’ve seen today for the first time in person ever, but I’ve known them for a year,” said Cassidy Rush.

Cassidy is among three WKU students WBKO News spoke to on Western’s campus on Monday. Cassidy, Abby, and Catarina are theater majors who met online during classes in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three quickly became friends and say they relied on each other to stay ahead while enrolled in classes.

“There were some situations where like, we got close very quickly because we had to depend on each other for that friendship. But I didn’t meet them until the spring semester, and I knew them almost all the fall,” said Rush.

While the three say they are excited to be together in person, they say they aren’t taking their guard down when it comes to COVID-19. The university is requiring masks while indoors and in common areas--and also encouraging students to get vaccinated by offering incentives.

“They are very encouraging with the vaccine. Now, you get messages, emails all the time, like, Hey, we have a COVID-19 task force on campus. So they’re always sending out updates,” said Abby.

Lux says the university is taking all necessary steps to keep students safe.

“WKU is committed to doing everything we can to provide that full in person experience this semester and it’s going to take everybody doing their part to keep us as safe as possible. But we feel confident that we have the safety measures in place, in order to be able to continue with that in-person experience throughout the semester,” said Lux.

Students say they’re fearful of rising cases sending them back home.

“A big concern that I feel also is going completely back online,” said Cassidy.

“I don’t want to be sent home, because that would be a really long way to go,” said Cataline.

“We can do it because we’ve done it. And I mean, we were seniors in high school, and we got sent home. We missed graduation, prom, everything. And we were still here. We’re still in college,” said Cassidy.

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