COVID-19 restrictions loosen


Student parking lot for N-1 outside Swanson Commons on Wednesday, Sept. 16

Molly Sweeney

As of Sept. 14, quarantine restrictions became more lenient at Augustana College. Students can travel home, but off-campus travel should be limited. Now, students are focusing on personal responsibility and holding others accountable. 
Augustana allows students to purchase parking passes to leave their cars on campus. This year, sophomore Kelli McNeice brought her car on campus but is remaining cautious with travel.
“Last year we would just go get coffee at Atomic across the bridge, but this year if I’m grabbing carryout or something I try to stay in Illinois. Just because Iowa is kinda iffy right now,” McNeice said. 
Students who live off-campus also had to make adjustments to their usual routines.
Senior Kasia Olecno lives in off-campus housing. She and her housemates have taken several steps to stay safe during this time. 
“We try to have only one or two of us to go shopping at a time. We don’t go out, really, at all. We don’t really have people over, and when we do, we stay outside,” Olecno said. “The four of us are really trying not to leave when we don’t have to.”
While restrictions were in place, students with off-campus jobs were negatively impacted. 
Sophomore Abi Harris has an off-campus job at both Bad Boy’z Pizza locations, in Moline and Davenport. 
While the restrictions were in place, Harris and her friends limited leaving campus by cutting back on hours at work. She worked two days a week to try to prevent leaving campus.
Now that restrictions have become more lenient, Harris is back to work. However, her job is still increasingly stressful as she is working in Iowa and they have few restrictions. 
“It’s uncomfortable going to work, but Augie’s expensive and I have to pay my bills,” Harris said.
Other students are also continuing to use caution, despite the fact that restrictions have become more lenient.
Augustana truly seems to be committed to keeping students safe. However, some students believe that there are extra steps they could be taking to ensure the health of everyone. 
McNeice wishes that the school had taken more precautions when students first arrived.
“I believe that they should have been stricter about restrictions in the first couple of weeks. I feel like now it’s better because we’ve been here for two weeks and people who brought [COVID-19] to campus have shown symptoms and it’s been addressed. I feel like now is time to be a bit more lenient about [the restrictions],” McNeice said.
Overall, not all of the responsibility falls on to the school. Students need to ensure that they are protecting themselves and those around them.
“[Augustana is] doing as well as they can right now,” Olecno said. “I do wish everyone was being tested. I think a lot of it falls on the students right now and there’s always going to be people who aren’t going to do the work.”