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Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:53 pm

Professors Adjust to the Unique Spring 2021 Semester

Bradley Hoppenstein, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – After almost a full year with the majority of its classes online, Syracuse University has made it a spring semester priority for both students and professors to safely return to the classroom. With some tweaks to its safety measures from last semester, SU has been able to accommodate more in-person classes for this semester.

Some new measures include weekly COVID-19 testing, as opposed to the random sampling method of last semester, enhanced contact tracing, and minor amendments to the Stay Safe Pledge. However, even with many students and professors back in the classroom, things still do not exactly feel normal again. “The place it’s been more of an adjustment than I anticipated was my in-person classes…some nuances go out the window between the masks and social distancing…definitely more body language is required,” said Eric Grode, a Newhouse undergraduate and graduate professor. 

Grode is splitting his time this semester between hybrid format undergraduate classes and in-person instructed graduate-level classes, and he says that both methods of instruction still require some adjustments for both students and professors. 

Even with the University’s expansion of its resources, including transforming the Carrier Dome into a classroom for some large lectures and as a study space, students also seem to agree that this new in-person experience is not exactly what they imagined. 

“It’s definitely not normal…it’s harder to communicate with your classmates and get to know them…and even collaborate on some assignments,” said Syracuse first-year student Phoebe Gullingsrud. 

Even with a steady increase in cases of COVID-19 since students returned to campus, Syracuse University is still hoping to give students a safe in-person experience, even if it continues to be different than what many imagined.