PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – It’s a huge step in the return to normalcy after the pandemic. This fall, Brigham Young University will return to full classrooms without mask mandates or social distancing.
After a year of online classes, it was a major announcement on the university’s website: a traditional fall semester for BYU’s 32,000 students.
“With the Covid-19 disease prevalence dropping significantly and the vaccination rate increasing significantly, those were the two main factors behind this decision,” BYU Media Relations Manager Todd Hollingshead told ABC4 News. “We’re looking forward to having that fall semester with everyone back on campus and kind of that traditional sense.”
Traditional means the return of in-person instruction with lecture halls and labs at full capacity. Students we spoke with said they’re excited for face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates.
“The quality of education, I mean bless our teachers, but it goes way down when it’s all online,” junior Erik Bingham said. “And when it’s in person, you can actually talk with people and that’s where the learning takes place and so for me. I’m very excited about it going back to person.”
“I’m a social person I love to see people,” sophomore Ellie Walker said. “I feel like I learn better in a classroom anyways so it’s going to be very nice to see peoples’ faces too.”
Campus activities will be back to full attendance as well, and at this school, that means 63,470 fans packing LaVell Edwards Stadium for Cougar football games.
“I’m excited for the students to be back in the stands,” Walker said. “Just to actually be able to go to games now so it’ll be good.”
Classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 30 with the first home football game against Utah on Sept. 11.