UW-Eau Claire students express concern over returning to school

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Some UW-System schools will return to in-person classes in the fall despite COVID-19, but all students and faculty will be required to wear face masks within campus buildings.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Student Affairs Warren Anderson says while masks are required in buildings only, they will also be strongly encouraged outside of campus buildings as well.

"I'm excited to go back, but I'm really scared as to how effective it will be with the masks and also if everybody is going to wear them," said UW-Eau Claire student AJ Wielchowski.

“I’m happy to be in person, but I’m kind of worried about like the virus being spread,” said UW-Eau Claire student Taj Jackson.

While some UW-Eau Claire students are excited to be returning, others are a bit more hesitant because of the risk.

“I believe personally that we should be going online,” said UW-Eau Claire student Ben Rauen.

“This is kind of like throwing us all back into something that none of us know anything about and it’s just kind of scary,” said UW-Eau Claire student Shannon Gunderson.

Students like Gunderson and Rauen are concerned about other students or faculty not following the recommended safety guidelines.

"I think the number one thing they can be doing is holding students accountable whether that be conduct meetings if students are found without masks, or even just calling students out a little bit more if they see them on campus without masks on," said Rauen.

Anderson says UW-Eau Claire will be giving out face masks to all students and staff as well as practicing social distancing in classrooms.

Gunderson, who is immune compromised, says she is still unsure about going back to school in the fall.

“It makes me nervous to be walking around and seeing people in large groups. Everyone’s going to be really excited being back together because it’s been so long since we’ve all seen each other.”

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