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Life on a quarantined campus

You are probably reading this at home. But not everyone is home; due to travel restrictions and distance, a number of students still remain at Saint Vincent. Many are international students whose home countries may be even more dangerous than the US.

There are about 50-60 students still on campus, according to Ivan Soma, a Hungarian exchange student, and Alperen Aksehir, a senior management major. Most of on campus, though, are American, not international students.

"I think a lot about going back home." - Ivan Soma

“I think we have 6 international students left, myself included,” Aksehir said.

Dining services is still providing food for the small number of students that remain. At first, Soma said, dining moved to a smaller room near the cafeteria. Now, though, students received bagged lunches.

“Obviously, in the beginning, food service was trying to figure out what it is the best way to serve food. They pack our food with snacks and desserts as well as drinks. The dining room is not open, which is a better option for everybody's safety,” Aksehir said.

Photos on March 18 of food for students on campus, located in the overflow room across from the cafeteria. Photos by Matthew Wojtechko.

Both students were happy with the food. Actually, Ivan said, “the food is a little better since the students left!”

There isn’t much to do, though. Students are still permitted to gather in small groups, Aksehir said.

“Basically, the only thing you can do is hang out with your friends. If the weather is nice, we go outside and play tennis or something. But nothing special,” Ivan added.

There’s a lot of uncertainty for students, Ivan explained, especially international students. It’s especially hard for students like him who were leaving anyway this year to have their last semester cut short.

"The campus is very empty as well. It is almost creepy, but I do not mind it." - Alperen Askehir

“I think a lot about going back home. The whole semester will be online, which means there is no reason to stay on campus. So, yeah, most of the international students are thinking about the same thing. It is not easy, especially for me, because right now this is my last semester here and I wanted to enjoy it with my SVC friends,” he said.

Ivan also isn’t sure when and how he will get home, though as of now flights to Europe have not been banned.

Still, the threat of Coronavirus itself hasn’t yet reached the college. If anything, the experience is almost surreal, explained Aksehir.

“People are definitely cautious about it but I think that there is no overreaction, at least on campus. The general atmosphere is pretty good. The campus is very empty as well. It is almost creepy, but I do not mind it,” he said.


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