As Quarantine Comes to a Close, President Krislov Meets with Students to Discuss the Experience

Emily Teixeira

University president Marvin Krislov, Interim Dean for Students Rachel Carpenter, and Res Life Director Alerie Tirsch hosted a Zoom meeting with a small group of Alumni students on Thursday, Oct. 8, the last day of the building-wide quarantine. The goal was to get insights on the quarantine experience, how it impacted students, what worked, and what did not.

While each student’s quarantine experience was unique, they expressed a few common thoughts and concerns.

The two biggest criticisms to the quarantine experience were centered around the food and the manner in which the quarantine was announced. Students wished that there had been greater variety in the meals available to quarantined students, particularly for vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians. They also wished that the initial email announcing the quarantine had been less cryptic and contained more information than “Be in your rooms by 9 p.m. More information in a Zoom call at 9:30.”

However, despite these criticisms, students also expressed gratitude for all the work that Res Life, Chartwells, and their professors put in to make the quarantine as smooth and enjoyable as possible. They were amazed at all the extra effort that workers put in to deliver food, mail, and needed supplies; the level of understanding and compassion that professors had when quarantine put a dent in their schedules; and the way Res Life was sure to sponsor online events to keep students entertained. They also expressed gratitude to the organizations and departments that sent care packages. One student described how surprised she was one day when she opened her door and found T-Bone standing there with a gift bag.

Students also expressed the first actions they were going to take after being released from quarantine. Students’ answers ranged from “race to the laundry room” to “reunited with my friends” to “just take a walk.” Students said that the quarantine experience taught them to appreciate little, everyday things that they once took for granted, like being outside, going to Kessel, and spending time with other people. They also hope that the experience reminds people that the pandemic is still a serious public health risk and should be treated as such.