Contributor is exactly Anthony T. Muro
2021-07-02T12:30:00How quiet can a campus of normally 21,000 students get? I will let you in, you can hear a pin drop. When the pandemic began, the school shut down the school Union. On top of that, I was placed on furlough from my job from March until August last year because my job is located in that Union! When I was able to come back to campus, masks and hand sanitizer were required (still are) and the other thing that was noticed was...the silence. Normally, the Union has about 1,000-2,000 students and staff in it at a time, but due to the pandemic, it was completely dead inside. Not only that, the hours that we were open cut in half until some of our workers were let go based on the amount of time that they had spent in their position. In the midst of the pandemic, it would become extremely eerie because there would be times we would not see a single customer for over an hour when normally, it would be steady (and during peak hours extremely busy). Due to the pandemic, our manager left the business and that left me and another co-worker (now the manager) in charge of a store that normally has 8 eight employees. Normally during this time of year, even though it is summer, the Union is completely full due to Freshman Orientation, camps, and campus tours. Currently, as my photo suggests, the Union is a ghost yard....there are no students during the lunch hours, no restaurants open other than the convenience store, and no staff walking around. Ever since last March, this is not only how the Union has been, but also the campus itself. I chose to take a picture of the Student Union Courtyard because this is normally where events are held during open hours in the Union. This is not to show that there are no individuals in the building, what I specifically want to bring attention to is because of no people in the building, it is completely silent 95% of the time. In addition, this is where the Freshman Orientation stations would be where they go to get information about classes and other events on campus. It is very weird to have no one in the building when two years ago they had roughly 2,000 people in the building during the lunch hour period when I worked for Follett's convenience store. It would be extremely loud, at all times and the shifts would go by quickly. Now...there is nothing but silence about 95% of the time on a public campus of 21,000 students!