DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A required COVID-19 test and curfew are just a couple of the changes students will see at Bethune-Cookman University.
Some of the more than 2,800 students are headed back to the classroom for the first time since October. While students have been learning remotely, the university delayed in-person instruction due to rising cases of COVID-19.
“I know Bethune Cookman is willing to put safety first and they’re going to take care of us. It bugged me knowing students had plans already. I think that’s the only reason why the delay affected me, but I know it’s for the safety of us and everyone on campus,” said sophomore Justin Lagon.
There are some changes for students, including a curfew between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Sunday. Students not inside their residence halls during curfew will be removed from campus housing, according to the university. Overnight sign-out sheets and accommodations are available for students who work during curfew.
“It’s a little crazy. It kind of cuts down on what you thought college might be, but it’s OK. I understand what it’s for and the guidelines. It’s really no issue for me,” Lagon said.
Spring break is also canceled for BCU students and there may be more changes to the academic calendar. The university said it made the decision to make up for time lost due to the pandemic.
“I think everyone should be more precautious of their surroundings and stay safe, so I think it’s the best thing possible right now,” said junior Tyrell Merrick.
Even with limited activities and enforced health and safety guidelines, students are still looking forward to continuing doing what they went to school for: learning.
“Going back to class should help with grades and being more interactive in the class,” Merrick said.
Some students are hoping to get a more hands-on experience being back on campus.
“I’m looking forward to interacting with my teachers and classmates. Hopefully I can get more in-person time and less Zoom,” said Lagon.
As part of its reopening plan, BCU has specific dorms designated as quarantine sites for students who test positive or come in contact with someone who has the virus.
Last week, News 6 spoke with the university’s president who reached out to the county health department requesting the campus be used at a vaccination site. On Monday, the university told News 6 it does not fit all of the requirements and won’t be able to offer vaccines on its campus.