For freshmen, open hours is a new experience, but for the rest of campus, the first night of open hours of the year on Saturday Feb. 6 was a familiar experience.
Indiana continues to get back on track, and with Grant County in the yellow risk level, Taylor University has followed suit in its efforts to reintroduce campus activities that were lost in the pandemic.
One activity removed from student life when COVID started was open hours, and just recently, administration decided to bring it back on Feb. 6.
While open hours may be back, they look a bit different from previous years. Skip Trudeau, vice president of student development, said that additional protocols have been created in the spirit of COVID-19. These involve the following: wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid food and drink.
The changes affect some students more than others, especially when it comes to single-gender halls. Jessie Woodring, Grace Olson hall director, is excited for the students to experience each others’ company again in the comfort of their own dorms.
“Obviously, with COVID there’s a need to limit some interactions and that has felt helpful and effective,” Woodring said. “One of the values at Taylor is also interaction between people of all types and so to have single gender halls interact with one another and men and women to interact in their spaces has been a joy.”
Junior Jeremy Garey is a Personnel Assistant (PA) on Third East Wengatz. He spoke about how open hours have offered another space for his wing to gather with their sister floor. They would be together either way on a normal Saturday night, so the ability to be in a dorm allows for continued cultivation of relationships.
“I think generally, it's been really good,” Garey said. “I mean, I'm personally thankful for it.”