As the 2020 presidential election draws near, we ask University of Scranton students why they think it’s important to vote. We also hear from a few first-time voters.
National hand washing day is an annual celebration, but this year it holds a little more weight than usual. Back at the start of the pandemic, washing hands for at least 20 seconds was a big part of staying healthy. Originally, the songs of choice were happy birthday or the ABCs. People started to get creative in their song choices while washing their hands over the past few months.
Adrianna Duranti, a senior exercise science major, likes to take a festive approach to keeping her hands clean. Duranti sings “Jingle Bells” to make sure she washes her hands for at least 20 seconds. Duranti said she likes the song more as the holiday season gets closer.
“Handwashing is such an important part of keeping other people healthy,” Duranti said, “I love the holiday season, so singing Jingle Bells when I wash my hands makes it even more fun.”
Duranti has also tried to use other songs like “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” “Santa Baby” and “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Among all the holiday songs, Duranti said Jingle Bells works the best.
“’Jingle Bells’ just fits better than all of the other songs I’ve tried, not to mention it’s my favorite,” Dunanti said.
Regan Hughes is a senior middle grades education major with a concentration in math. She is a fan of country music and likes to use different country songs when washing her hands. Her favorites are “If I Know Me” by Morgan Wallet and “Yours” by Russel Dickerson.
Administration at The University of Scranton implemented a two-week pause in in-person instruction beginning on Sept. 19 and ended Sept. 30.
Both students and faculty were excited to get back in the classroom.
Professor Strain is a communications professor who teaches several classes ranging from a first-year seminar to a 300-level political communication course.
Strain enjoys being face-to-face because it offers a type of connection that being online cannot match.
“There is nothing like the vibe and energy of being face-to-face with a group of students and engaging one another in some interesting and intense discussion,” Strain said.
He also said there are some challenges to face this semester, including lecturing with a mask on and trying to teach to both an in-class group of students and to those who have to attend class through Zoom because they are in quarantine.
“Effectively communicating with both sets of students is far more challenging than I thought, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Strain said.
Professor Strain said he has been proactive in trying to keep in touch with his students during the uncertain times. Not only does he maintain communication with his students, but he also just likes to check in on them.
“I have been more proactive than ever trying to maintain consistent communication with students,” Strain said. “[S]tudents learning remotely need to feel like they are still part of the class in every way, so my outreach is more consistent and focused than ever before.”
He aims to be there for his students so they know they have someone to talk to or to motivate them when things get tough. He said he is proud of them.
“I am more optimistic than ever that we will get through the semester without more campus shutdowns,” Strain said, “I’m proud of our students [for adapting] to life in COVID-19 America.”
Every fall, the University of Scranton holds an Activities Fair for students to explore the various clubs and club sports offered on campus.
This year, the activities fair was online to adhere to social distancing. Clubs and club sports registered for an hour time slot between 12-3 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2020. First-year students and upperclassmen that were interested in a certain club joined the Zoom meetings to talk with the club officers and get some general information.
Patricia Cummings, program coordinator for the Center for Student Engagement, helped organize the event. Cummings said the club fair was very successful with over 400 students in attendance.
“At our typical outdoor club fair…we might have closer to 500 [students],” Cummings said. “Four hundred [students] is a success for us, especially given the online nature of the event.”
Students attending the fair were eligible to receive prizes such as a $50 Amazon gift card and even some Scranton apparel. Clubs were also eligible to win prizes, too. Cummings said she received positive feedback from students and club leaders.
“Students were very excited about [the] prizes,” Cummings said. “Club leaders had great [one-on-one] conversations with students.”
In past years, students would walk past club tables and sign their names and not have a conversation with the club leaders. This year, students tended to stay in the Zoom meetings and talk directly to club officers.
Rachel Smith, a senior biology major with a concentration in nutrition, is president of the Biology Club on campus. Continue reading
The Art and Music program is hosting five art workshops every week. They will provide a creative outlet for students who enjoy making art, but also the opportunity for non-art students to explore materials and techniques used by artists. Please check your My Scranton home page under “Announcements” for updates.
A spotlight on Royal Studios, the on-campus, student-run production company. We follow the crew as Royal Studios prepares to shoot a short documentary featuring members of the LGBTQ community about what National Coming Out Day (October 11) means to them. In this short “making of” video, we discover how the crew sets up a shoot while taking safety precautions due to COVID-19.