A Return to Normal: FGCU’s New COVID Restrictions


Gracie Burgess, Contributing Writer

Since FGCU’s spring 2020 semester, campus has looked quite different. Many students were taking classes remotely via zoom and, or a traditional online platform. It was a challenging transition for many students who were used to being on campus.

“Going through the transition from in person to online classes was not an easy transition for me,” senior Amie Lofland said, “I learn and retain information better in person than I do online. I just had to find my own groove and do what’s best for me to help me learn material through my courses.”

FGCU transitioned to an online form of learning in March of 2020. The university maintained online learning through the rest of the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the summer semester, FGCU remained mostly online. Fall of 2020, FGCU opened a little more and started allowing some on campus classes. While Spring 2021 looked a lot like fall of 2020, FGCU has begun to return to normal for summer of 2021. Campus has opened up, and more students have been able to come back and enjoy the campus.

“I am excited to be returning to entirely in person classes this fall and just to feel like life is getting back to normal,” said Instructor Kira Lewis at the Lutgert School of Business. “Interacting with students in the classroom and really getting to know them through those interactions is one of the most rewarding parts of teaching. Trying to have that same quality of engagement via the computer just wasn’t quite the same.”

In response to successful vaccination efforts, FGCU has made the decision to lift all restrictions implemented due to COVID-19.  FGCU has not mandated students get the vaccine to fight COVID-19. However, in President Michael Martin’s videos, found on the FGCU’s Protect the Nest webpage, he urges students to take every precaution they can and strongly suggests that students get vaccinated.

“FGCU encourages students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and remain vigilant about their own health, hygiene and well-being,” says FGCU spokesperson Pamela McCabe. “We also want to remind everyone to remain tolerant of one another’s choices and to understand that we are in this together.”

From all aspects around campus, many students, instructors, leaders, and all other FGCU staff are all excited to make a return to campus face-to-face. Pamela McCabe recently took over for Susan Evans and has been connecting with students and faculty on the changes coming to campus in fall of 2021.

“In tow with the State University System, FGCU is using the final weeks of summer to ease students, faculty and staff into a less restrictive environment,” says McCabe. “Assuming we are not faced with any setbacks relative to the pandemic, we will transition to pre-COVID operations for academics, athletics and campus-related events by the start of the Fall 2021 semester.”

Some of the changes coming to FGCU are removal of mask mandate, normal class sizes, regular campus activities, athletics, programs, and much more. FGCU will continue to COVID-19 symptomatic testing, share information on how to get a COVID-19 vaccine, sanitize and disinfect high touch areas around campus, and keep students and staff up to date on related changes at FGCU.

“I urge students and employees to monitor FGCU’s Protect The Nest webpage, which contains the latest information about our summer and fall operations,” says McCabe. “Any changes to programs, policies and procedures related to the coronavirus will be posted online, and we will continue to send out messages to campus via the [email protected] email address.”

Everyone here at FGCU is eager to get back to normal campus activities and classes. FGCU is working alongside with the state and sister institutions to ensure campus is opening safely and protecting students and employees. The most important thing is to stay safe and monitor your surroundings as this transition is taking place.