ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Claflin University will welcome back its student on campus for the first time in more than a year.
"With the pandemic happening, a lot of the unexpected happened," said Arteria Gibson, Claflin University Junior. "We thought we're going on Spring Break, it got extended, and we never came back."
"We went on Spring Break, and I also say it was the longest spring break in history because we never returned," explained Christopher Key, Claflin University Senior.
As students prepare for an anticipated return, the university has nailed down its safety protocols.
"We're highly suggesting all of our students and faculty get vaccinated," said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin University's President. "We have mandatory testing for anyone who comes to campus, whether you're vaccinated or not. We will also have tests weekly and bi-weekly for students on and off-campus.
Other requirements in Claflin's covid protocol include unvaccinated students are required to test at least twice per month by the school's outsourced testing services. Face coverings are mandatory at all times in the classrooms and other places throughout the campus. A spokesperson for the school says requiring masks on campus reduces the spread of the virus among the Claflin community.
"I've missed the in-person sessions," expressed Key. "Virtual was one thing, but being able to be in front of your professors and having that one-on-one with them, is helpful when you're trying to broaden your aspects of life."
"I'm expecting the staff and students to do their parts so we can have the full sense of normalcy," said Gibson. "So, I get the full in-person learning that I need to be successful as a student."