Martha Hrdy

Please respect your classmates

November 19, 2021

I never liked crowded lecture halls.

Even before the added concern of contracting COVID-19, sitting in cramped seats for long periods of time was never fun.

Since many students have not been in a classroom for close to two years, it is important to remember how to act in shared spaces.

UVM has seen the greatest number of cases as of late with 61 positive tests after Halloween and 27 cases the following week, according to the Cynic COVID-19 data tracker.

This is a good reminder that the pandemic is far from over, so it is vital to stay vigilant when it comes to crowded indoor spaces.

In many classes, students are likely to feel the urge to have a snack.

It is important that students realize how eating in class could affect others around them.

Not only is it distracting, but it causes one to have their mask down for long periods of time.

If a student needs to take a sip of water they should make sure to replace their mask over their mouth and nose immediately after.

Making sure masks stay on is imperative and is required at all times indoors by UVM, according to an Aug. 5 UVM Forward statement.

Despite the beliefs of many, the pandemic does not in fact disappear for one to enjoy a snack.

“Consuming food and drink in the classroom, labs, or other academic settings is not permitted,” UVM Forward’s web page stated.

Please follow UVM guidelines and do not eat in the classroom.

“The intermittent lowering of masks to sip a drink could be permitted at the discretion of the Faculty/Graduate TAs,” UVM Forward stated.

For students concerned they may be the ones affecting others through their actions, I highly recommend stepping outside of the classroom next time you feel the need to eat something.

By respecting classmates with the small action of stepping outside to remove your mask, the spread of COVID-19 will be prevented and your classmates will feel safer.

If finding times in the day to eat is difficult, try bringing a snack to eat on the go or scout out spots near classes to eat such as CatPause in the Davis Center or The Marché on Athletic campus.

There are designated areas on campus to eat, so students should use them instead of having a full-course meal during their chemistry lecture.

Students need to be vigilant about keeping masks on indoors and perhaps offer a reminder to those who may forget.

The pandemic is inconvenient, but we need to deal with these inconveniences to have a safer campus community.

Students need to be more mindful in the classroom to create a more comfortable space.

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