Student voices cautious optimism over Randolph-Macon’s plan to hold on-campus classes this fall

Local News

ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — The coronavirus pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to colleges and universities across the nation: when and how they should resume in-person classes.

While most schools finished up their spring semesters primarily online, a few have already announced their intentions for the fall. Like Virginia Commonwealth University, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland is planning to hold on-campus classes when students return.

In a message to the Randolph-Macon community, school President Bob Lindgren said the “current plan is to complete two full semesters and a January term of on-campus instruction in the 2020-2021 school year with classes starting on Monday, August 31, 2020.”

The decision will depend on the health and safety for students and staff, according to Lindgren. On Monday, rising freshman Kelsey Seiler spoke with 8News about the possibility of being in the classroom again.

“It’s exciting but nerve-wracking and I’m also not trying to set anything in stone cause who knows what will happen,” Seiler said.

Seiler is craving the classroom feel and itching to join her new field hockey family.

“I personally am not a good online learner,” she told 8News. “Fingers crossed, knock on wood, all the good stuff. I’m just ready to play.”

Her mother, Deana Seiler, said after Kelsey lost her senior year, she couldn’t imagine missing out on the freshman year experience.

“For them to go ahead and give us the ability to have that to look forward to makes what we’re going through now livable,” D. Seiler explained.

D. Seiler told 8News that the small class sizes at Randolph-Macon played a critical role in the decision process.

“Which in this scenario works perfectly,” she said. “I had all these expectations of what it was going to be like this year, and not to be able to experience that with her is just…yeah.”

Lindgren said his goal is to share the school’s official plan with all faculty and staff by July 1.

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