The Tiger visited one of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) COVID-19 testing sites this week at NewSpring Church to ask people who had just gotten tested about their experience and thoughts about everything going on.
“A lot of students are having a hard time online,” commented one student when asked whether the University should re-open or remain closed. “[The University] needs to monitor the situation and be able to minimize risk for campus to reopen.”
A variety of opinions were expressed at the testing site, especially with regard to the steps that Clemson University is taking to keep people safe and keep the number of positive cases down.
“There should be some more measures taken. I’m not sure what, but it doesn’t feel like enough,” said one senior Clemson student. Another student confidently responded, “This pandemic is being blown out of proportion, but it’s good to be safe and look out for each other.”
A potential trend to look out for this fall is a discrepancy between upperclassmen and underclassmen on campus. Upperclassmen, including graduate students at Clemson, showed a tendency to be more skeptical of the steps the University is taking and the ability to stay safe during the pandemic.
When asked why they were getting tested today, a graduate student told The Tiger that they were a member of the dance team at Clemson and wanted to be “considerate of others on the team and make them feel comfortable”. Another graduate student told The Tiger that the re-opening process “is a mess”.
“People need to practice social distancing. People have to be smart about this,” emphasized one senior student.
On the other hand, underclassmen, especially freshmen, expressed a desire for campus to open up.
“I wanna [sic] go back to class. I’m just ready for things to get back to normal,” said one freshman Clemson student when asked about their thoughts on the pandemic. Another freshman responded, “I’m not worried, but I’m respectful of those who are.”
Most freshmen who were asked why they were getting tested responded that they had to because of the requirement for all students moving in on-campus. However, as of Wednesday, Sept. 9, all students who plan to return to on-campus instruction must be tested as well.
A few students when asked about what additional measures could be taken to keep people safe gave critical responses.
“USC needs to stop what it’s doing so we don’t end up the same,” said one student. Another student responded, “A lot of people aren’t taking [the pandemic] seriously, but it’s also being exaggerated by the media.”
Testing times have improved from the earlier waits some saw during the summer to the beginning of August, which people have reported waiting up to two hours to get tested. Most respondents said they waited only twenty to twenty-five minutes to get their test completed.
Clemson University is taking a variety of steps to ensure a safe campus for students to return to in the next few weeks. For more information on the resources available, check out the Healthy Clemson resources page.