Editorial: We need a plan to get back to “normal”

More than 50% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Whether it’s from Moderna, Pfizer or the “dreaded” Johnson & Johnson, these vaccines are rolling out, and we must focus on what comes next. 

There is so much focus on contingency, and very little on what happens next. 

In a letter to students and faculty the University says it is planning to go back to normal for fall semester.

This is great. But what does that mean? 

The letter says students can expect to partake in several on-campus events, including sporting events, concerts, and homecoming. 

With this news comes a healthy dose of skepticism as to what “normal” will actually look like and, more specifically, the question of: How will we go from where we are now to a completely normal school semester?

The University needs to make communication a higher priority; they need to explain their plan for getting us to a point where we can safely reopen at full capacity. 

Returning to normal is a good goal, but we were told last year around this time to expect a normal semester, due to the fact that it is easier to make the plans, then cancel if need be, rather than the other way around. 

As the student body becomes more and more vaccinated, we need to know that the sometimes awful symptoms of the infamous “second dose” show actual rewards when it comes to our college and education experience. 

There needs to be a well-communicated “back to normal” plan that is going to be utilized by the University, that way students understand what they are getting into next year. 

At the beginning of this year, we were given the parameters of the “color system” which essentially told us how many numbers were necessary for us to go into more strict restrictions and precautions around campus. 

The same sort of system should be installed fall semester, but on the inverse. 

For example, how many students have to be vaccinated for us to have a full capacity homecoming concert? Full classrooms? When do we take off the masks and have a University experience that resembles that of two years ago?

Online education or “Zoom University” is putting the students and faculty at MNSU at an extreme disadvantage academically. If a freshman were choosing whether or not to attend our school, they deserve to know what kind of education they will be receiving. 

Safety needs to be a main concern, but at a certain point, students are getting vaccinated and COVID-19 is becoming less and less of a threat to our community.

With students paying the money that they are paying to attend school, they deserve full disclosure as to the nature of not only what “normal” will look like, but also how we are going to get there.

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