Life on an empty campus

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Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

EWU's normally bustling campus is now practically empty.

By Emily Driskel, Reporter

On a typical Tuesday afternoon, EWU’s campus is usually filled with students hustling to and from classes. Now, the campus atmosphere has become quiet. Inside the PUB, only a few people roam the EWU Union Market. 

Many students chose to return to their homes for the rest of the academic year following the decision to move all classes online for the spring quarter. This has affected the remaining students who chose to stay living on campus this quarter, as Pearce and snyamncut are the only residence halls still open. 

During the EWU virtual town hall meeting on April 10, Robert Sauders, the interim vice president for Student Affairs, stated there were approximately 200 students remaining on campus during spring quarter.  

 For students staying in the dorms, there are some adjustments, including the absence of the community advisors in the buildings. 

Joab Sigrah, a sophomore at EWU, said not having a CA in the dorms “makes the floor feel dead.”

In an email sent to students and employees on April 2, EWU President Mary Cullinan wrote, “Campus buildings are closed to the general public. Certain buildings and offices, such as the PUB, will have limited hours while providing essential services.”

The Union Market’s new hours were sent out in a recent email to all residents: 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday- Sunday.

Junior Anthony Hirt said the only real difference for him was a different room. 

“I have to go to the PUB a bit earlier than I normally do because of its new closing hours,” said Hirt. 

With the closures of the library and the URC, limited options can be challenging for residents. 

The URC closure has been difficult for students like Mark McKee.

“I had hoped the URC would open as it would give us more to do, but it does not look like that is happening,” McKee said.

Alex Bailey, a freshman currently living in snyamncut, talks about not being able to use the other buildings due to their closure. 

“I had study sessions in multiple places on campus to switch up my study environment, this would allow me to keep studying in a fun and interesting way. Now pretty much my room is the place I study,” said Bailey. 

With Governor Jay Inslee extending the stay-at-home order until May 4, students are encouraged to keep practicing social distancing. A few students commented on the one major difference they have experienced this quarter compared to previous quarters. McKee mentioned that he missed all the people. 

“Being an obnoxiously loud extrovert, being confined to limited social interactions is a struggle,” said McKee.

“I miss all the students on campus,” said Bailey about his experience last quarter. “You know, meeting new people like every other day.”  

Sigrah commented about rarely seeing anyone out and about. 

“A lot of people moved home due to the pandemic we are encountering worldwide,” said Sigrah.

These next few months will result in many changes for the EWU campus community, students and faculty. Although social distancing can be challenging in these times, some residents have chosen to think positively. 

“I respect the fact that despite the difficulty and the suddenness of this isolation, we endure it day by day, even if we do so begrudgingly,” said Hirt.