Have you ever wondered what Sewanee was like before COVID? Have you wondered about anything that campus used to have before COVID changed the scene for incoming classes? The Purple met with Anna Püsök, a senior who has been here all four years, and was finally able to dispel some of the mystery around Pre-COVID Sewanee.
Firstly, Püsök explained that now, three years after the beginning of the COVID epidemic, Sewanee campus has more or less returned to how it was before. We no longer have online classes, require masking or social distancing, nor do we require vaccinations. However, “there were just some more resources then that ended during COVID that never came back–like Baccus, people could rent out cars,” Püsok said, “there was more support to help students get off campus to go to Walmart.” She said, “professors used to invite their students over to dinner at the end of the semester.”
Püsök made a point to say that these resources should come back, since resources provided by the school to help get off campus were especially helpful for international students. The strictness of the COVID policy and the lack of events, socializing, and inclusions of the bubble, had limited the incoming students for a year or two after COVID, but Püsök thinks that things have regained their liveliness on campus and her freshman and senior years are relatively the same.
Despite the hardships of the 2020-2021 school year, the student body (of returning and staying students) were able to push through the stagnation that COVID brought. It’s very comforting to hear that in just three years, our campus has recuperated.
Püsök also mentioned that the food at McClurg Dining Hall was different as well. “Like Taco Tuesday used to have chimichangas and burritos. They [just had] more variety but the quality of the food was the same.”
Of course, we are still in the process of bringing aspects of Sewanee back. The Spring 2023 semester is the first year since 2019, where the duPont Library was able to host the Edible Book Festival again. So, Sewanee’s return to normalcy is a long process that is hopefully still in the works.
Similar to the recent discussions about theme houses, the presence of important student resources may leave with the final graduating class that experienced them, so discussions like this are very important.