Students cautious about returning home for Thanksgiving


Josh Meredith

A student walks towards the University Center.

Hayden Olberding, Digital Editor

Students are taking precautions before returning home for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving break starts Nov. 25, after which all classes will continue online. Some students will be heading home for break and will have to consider how to celebrate the holiday with the danger of COVID-19.

Gracie Money, a freshman economics major, will be having a small family get together to celebrate the holiday.

“Everybody’s going to be distant because everybody’s high risk,” Money said. “Like we have a new little baby and my grandma, so it’s pretty secluded and distant.”

She said her mother had COVID-19 and was hospitalized, but is currently in good health.

Money said she fears her cousin or grandma could get COVID-19.

“If they got it, I wouldn’t foresee it ending very well,” Money said.

Money said she hasn’t heard much from the university about how to behave in caution of COVID-19.

She also said she wasn’t sure when she would begin classes next semester, and that she predicts classes will not be in person next semester.

“Everybody gets sick in the winter anyway, let alone with the pandemic,” Money said. “I’d say it’s going to get too bad, to the point where we can’t come back.”

Money is a commuter and said she doesn’t know which of her classes for next semester will be online.

Spring classes will begin Jan.19. All classes will be online except those that must meet in person, such as labs or clinicals. Depending on the class, classes will continue in either online, hybrid or in-person form on Feb. 8 according to the university’s revised academic calendar.

Students can move back into housing Jan. 8 according to the university housing page.

Madi Slauter, a sophomore education major, said she’s going to Indianapolis to stay with her family.

She said her Thanksgiving will only include members of her immediate family.

“A lot of my family members have pre-existing conditions,” Slauter said. “And we can’t, like, come home from college and then be around them, or come home from school and be around them for the day.”

Slauter said she will be getting tested for COVID-19 before returning home to her family.

“Nobody’s really making me,” Slauter said. “It was more of a suggestion, like just so I know that I’m not taking anything home with me.”

Slauter said her fear isn’t getting COVID-19 when returning home.

“I’m not really afraid of getting it,” Slauter said. “I’m more afraid of being the person that takes it to somebody else.”

Slauter said she will be returning to campus Jan. 18 because she has to attend labs in person. She said she has reached out to other students to find out if her classes would be in person.

Jennifer Hammat, dean of students, sent an email to students today asking students to stay safe by continuing COVID-19 precautions.

Although students are going home to celebrate Thanksgiving, Hammat said students should continue to avoid gatherings, maintain a physical distance and wear their masks.

Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, recommended in a news conference earlier this week that students should quarantine for 14 days during the holidays as if they have COVID-19.

While many students will be returning home to be with their families during the break, campus housing will remain open until Dec. 18.