Eastern students react to 1st day of classes


Karina Delgado | The Daily Eastern News

Students walk on campus this afternoon on the first day of classes for the Fall 2020 semester.

Kate Figlewski, Staff Reporter

As EIU begins in person classes, students face many new challenges and uncertainties.

First days of classes are typically exciting and a chance to get to know your professors and peers, but with the current pandemic, students are unsure how to adjust to the new normal.

With a mixture of online, in-person and hybrid classes, students who prefer face-to-face instruction spent today adjusting to the way classes are.

Julia Contreras, a senior environmental geography major, said she feels that online classes take away the more personal fell of classes.

“If I’m in-person, I like to see who’s in the class and then I like to get to know the professor,” Contreras said. “When I’m online, that takes away the social aspect.”

Carlos Vivanco, a sophomore political science major, said he prefers in-person classes as well.

“I like in person more because you get to interact with the professor and students better than you would online because I feel people are more timid to share their screen and talk to each other through a computer rather than in class, I’ve noticed at least,” Vivanco said.

While some students prefer in-person, others are uncertain about it during the pandemic.

Liam Gardner, a junior history major, said he sees value in online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this environment I probably prefer online classes,” Gardner said. “I’m just looking at what’s going on around the country, and how some colleges have been going more online as time goes on, even some shutting down I hope that doesn’t happen with EIU, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does after a while.”

Andrew Raymond, freshman computer science and information technology major, said he likes in-person but has concerns with having them during the pandemic.

“I think they are a great thing, but at the same time with everything going on it is a big issue that people are running into,” Raymond said.

Even if with guidelines in place, students are worried about the obstacles that will be faced this semester.

Contreras said she hopes people will continue to follow the guidelines the university has put in place.

“Cases are still going to increase or decrease depending on how well we do as a university,” Contreras said. “My only worry would be, though we have the set guidelines of staying six feet apart and wearing a mask, I’m just afraid that as time goes on people will be used to the rules or start forgetting.”

Vivanco said he is worried students won’t get the same education out of this semester as they have in others.

“I’m just concerned that we won’t be getting the same quality education because a lot of classes are online,” said Vivanco.

Valen Fulton, junior art major, said, she is satisfied with Eastern’s reaction to the pandemic so far.

“How Eastern has done it, I think they did a pretty interesting approach on it,” Fulton said. “My one class is in the underground, so I think it is effective because we are all social distancing and wearing masks.”

Vivanco said he believes professor will enforce guidelines this semester.

“I think that Eastern is doing the best that they can. They really stress to the professors that you have to follow the rules,” Vivanco said. “The professors aren’t taking that lightly, they’re actually following the rules and sticking to them.”


Kate Figlewski can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]