CCSU Students Reflect on Social Distancing as University Reports Downward COVID-19 Trend

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There has been an uptick in coronavirus cases in Connecticut, especially in some communities with colleges.

For example, Sacred Heart University's president made an emotional plea Tuesday for students to follow pandemic precautions.

At Central Connecticut State University, there have been zero positive results in the past six days, according to CCSU President Zulma Toro.

“This is not how I envisioned my senior year, but unfortunately it happened and we’re all trying to make the best of it and keep it as normal as possible,” said Brian Kuo, CCSU Student Government Association president.  

Kuo, a senior, is leading on campus in the most unusual of times.

Despite the circumstances, she is encouraged by the actions of her fellow classmates.

“Of course you have the few who do not follow the guidelines. But I think for the majority a lot of students are trying to push through it, so that hopefully next semester comes back to normalcy a little bit.”

The negative test results the past couple of days on campus is a positive trend after a small spike in cases was identified and managed earlier this month after an off-campus gathering.

“But honestly, I was expecting there to be a ton (off-campus parties) and the police trying to crack down on it, but I think students have tried to be smart about it and they realize how, you know, scary this really is,” said Samantha Bender, a senior from Bristol.

Despite the difficulties, she and her friends who live off-campus try to socialize in driveways from a distance.

The future reporter is trying to find some positive during the pandemic.

“Not too many people can say they’ve learned journalism during a pandemic. I’m definitely learning a lot,” said Bender.

As social distancing is stressed here on the CSSU campus, imagine the difficulty it is to be in charge of social events on campus.

“Planning events has been a little awkward, but we’re following all the social distance guidelines,” said Ivana Ureña, CCSU SGA Social Affairs chair.

The sophomore is using social media to try and keep students feel connected in these times of COVID-19.

“Social isn’t really the 2020 thing, but we’re really trying to make it work.”

The New Britain native says the school has been strict, but she believes it’s for the best, as she thinks up safe, out-of-the box, school-approved events like outdoor, mask and glove-wearing laser tag.

 “So we’re trying to really involve students, so that they can get their experience and like their money worth of what they’re paying for in the student activity fee.”

She and fellow classmates who spoke to NBC Connecticut agree with Kuo and say for the most part students are following guidelines,

“Yeah for the most part people are following the rules and I like that,  said Derik Walter, a senior from Stamford. “I’m pretty happy wearing a mask. I like the precautions they take. It makes me feel more comfortable on campus.”

In a statement, the university’s president says that their twice a day monitoring and evaluation of test results has been impactful.

“It’s definitely not the year I envisioned, the year that I wanted, but you know, given the circumstances, they do the best that they can,” said Walter.

A focus on safety, as students try to find ways to make their school year, and for some senior year at CCSU, social.

“Obviously we’re all been super excited to see each other, so I’ve hung out with some friends in a driveway and we all keep our distance,” said Bender.

“We’re only going to get through it together,” Kuo.  

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