By Luke Mich, Editor-In-Chief
For me to say “Welcome Back” to all you those reading this, from the undergraduates to the faculty, staff, and professors, would be very much belated. We are already over a month into this fall semester, with plenty of events having already occurred, the most notable being Homecoming. For the first time since 2017, Homecoming Weekend occurred in the month of September, and additionally, it was one of the earliest Homecomings the college has had, with it falling on the third weekend of the school year. As is every Homecoming, alumni and families of alumni, current students, and professors arrived on campus for the special day, a day capped with the football team’s first win of their young season. For those returning back to the campus for the first time in months, years, or even decades, many alumni felt the true meaning of the event: that they were returning to a place not just known for where they spent four or even more years obtaining a college degree, but much more than: they were coming home.
Just like every year, Saint Vincent has undergone some changes, some obvious, others much more difficult to find. One such change was the announcement of a new athletic facility that will reside next to Lot A and the newly named Fred Rogers Institute (formerly known as the Fred Rogers Center). The athletic facility will consist of an indoor track, a football turf field, and much more. Black and yellow Pittsburgh Steelers fences also adorn the campus, such as around the field behind the outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, as the NFL franchise held their annual training camp this summer for the first time since 2019. But, arguably the most notable and significant change this school year, are the absence of N95 masks, surgical masks, and neck gaiters. The first semester for all non-seniors to start a semester with no mask-wearing, it will hopefully be the second semester of my seven here to have a full semester on campus with no worries of masking up nor seeing my school in a lockdown at some point in time.
I truly believe the absence of masking and the Covid-19 restrictions held during the four and a half semesters have made the campus livelier. Events have become more aplenty, students are getting more and more involved, and new clubs and sports are forming. For the first time in what seems forever, Saint Vincent feels truly normal. I don’t mean this as a slight to the prior school years I have gone through (I enjoyed much of my last two years here), but the return of all classes to fully in-person and the removal of Zoom feels like a win-win for everyone: the professors, the students, and the faculty. This school year, let’s all embrace the opportunity that none of us have experienced: a full school year free from worry of an incoming pandemic, school lockdowns, and learning at home behind a computer. Hopefully, this normal is here to stay.