Handful of students stay on campus during corona shutdown

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Alex Schoff, Editor

As the coronavirus pandemic accelerated in the U.S., Sierra Nevada University took steps, including moving all classes online. Many students have returned home to their parents’ houses, approximately 34 have stayed in dorms in what is otherwise a mostly vacant campus. At the start of the semester, there were 118 students in the dorms.

“At this time SNU is monitoring the situation and will make decisions as needed,” Lizzie Thibodeau, director of housing and student affairs, said via email. “We are committed to providing a safe place for students who may not have any place to go to.”

Those who have chosen to stay in the dorms not only have to work on their schooling – classes are now being taught virtually – but also their mental wellness. People are stuck inside and while human contact may be a luxury few can afford these days, some don’t see this as a bad thing.

“For the most part fun is coming from enjoying Tahoe without the tourists,” Marc Speak, a sophomore at SNU said. “The weather hasn’t been the greatest which has kept me indoors but that should change soon.”

Speak isn’t the only one who will use the outdoors as an escape. SNU has a thriving community of outdoor enthusiasts, many are like Speak and see this as a time to get out with no distractions.

“Mainly we’ve just been trying to go snowboarding,” Tyler Sites, a freshman at SNU said. “Just making little spots at the school or hiking up Diamond Peak. Just trying to stay outside, I guess.”

People are living their lives as normally as they can. They are still trying to do what they know to stay positive however, that could all change, but nobody knows when. When asked what it would take to shut the dorms down Thibodeau stated. “I don’t know the answer to that question as we are doing our best to remain open for our students.”

SNU hasn’t articulated a plan about whether it would close the dorms or details related to potential refunds or contingency plans for housing for displaced students.

The lack of a plan doesn’t seem to be fazing most of the dorm dwellers.

“It’s been pretty dull since everyone got shut down,” Speak said. “I’m just looking forward to seeing and hanging out with friends again.”