OSU’s In-person restriction-free campus events and normal class sizes will take place for the first time since the spring semester of 2020.
For over a year and a half guidelines like social distancing were put in place for students to follow. Enforced restrictions prevented events like the university’s America’s Greatest Homecoming and certain graduations from taking place and resulted in many online courses.
However, as COVID-19 cases lowered and vaccination rates went up, occasions were steadily brought back.
Students are not only eager to attend game days, students are also hoping to walk at an in-person graduation. Beth Beker, a senior management science and information systems major, will graduate next spring.
Beker said she is looking forward to accepting her degree in-person on stage at the end of the year.
For Beker this year is not just about attending missed events due to the pandemic.
“Being, like, a senior and going into like, your final year, everything just feels completely different,” she said. “Things that you’ve done before just feel a lot more nostalgic cause now you realize it's like, your last time getting to do them again.”
Beker said she is worried about the possibility of the university going back into lockdown and having a less flexible schedule due to in-person instruction. However, she is interested to see how things work out.
Over 24,000 students attend OSU and last week the university greeted incoming freshmen with Cowboy Welcome.
This five-day event is meant to allow incoming freshmen to experience campus amenities while meeting other students. Dane Ellet is an incoming freshman and waiting in anticipation to experience OSU homecoming’s famous celebrations.
Ellet said he is looking forward to just being in college. Even though he is not too concerned about restrictions, he said if guidelines tighten, it will still be a good experience.
Excel Maylem, an animal science graduate student, said she is ready for in-person instruction and events. Graduating this fall, Maylem, like Beker, said she is hoping to walk at graduation this semester and attend other activities.
“I’m so excited for homecoming because it's the hundredth homecoming and this is going to be my last one, so I am really looking forward to it.”
Maylem said she is unsure about how things will develop with the delta variant especially if cases get too high.