Silent Spring at Montclair State University

By and

Published April 26, 2020
A A A Share
The Montclarion
THEN: Students gather behind the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences building to view the skyline during the spring 2019 semester. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

This weekend, The Montclarion Managing Editor, Mackenzie Robertson, took her camera onto campus to document the transformation brought by the coronavirus pandemic. She revisited the exact spots that were photographed last spring 2019 semester by the paper’s Photography Editor, Olivia Kearns. These are the results:

Students normally flock to the seating area outside of the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences during warm days. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: Students normally flock to the seating area outside of the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences during warm days. Due to COVID-19, the area remains quiet.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

What would normally be a lively campus buzzing with students is now a ghost town due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has flipped the campus community on its side. Montclair State University announced on March 10 that course instruction would be moved online after extending spring break an additional week.

A student works on his laptop outside of Stone Hall. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

THEN: A student works on his laptop outside of Stone Hall.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

Students are normally found outside of Stone Hall utilizing statues as study spaces. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: Students are normally found outside of Stone Hall utilizing statues as study spaces.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

While this decision was to be expected, it was unexpected to many that this change would remain permanent through the spring 2020 semester. As time progressed, Gov. Phil Murphy announced statewide school shutdowns and Montclair State residents were required to move out, unless their permanent residency was on campus.

A student sits outside of Blanton Hall with her dog. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

THEN: A student sits outside of Blanton Hall with her dog.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

Montclair State has asked residents to vacate their dorms. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: Montclair State University has asked residents to vacate their dorms, leaving the Blanton Hall Quad, a once common area for events, empty.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

Last spring semester, Montclair State’s Student Center Quad was filled with students laughing and chatting with friends while celebrating Hammock Day by setting up hammocks between any two trees they could find. Students were enjoying walks from Lot 60 to main campus on warmer spring days, despite the trek.

A group of friends hangs out on a hammock in front of Calcia Hall. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

THEN: On warm days you will find students lounging on hammocks in the Quad.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

Hammock Day is usually celebrated by the campus community on April 18. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: Hammock Day is usually celebrated by the campus community on April 18, but that event has since been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

 

However, things are different now.

 

From left to right: Sophomore biology major Alex Carlucci, junior television and digital media major Mandonnah Mahallati and junior family science and human development major Frankie Racioppi chat on the steps of the Student Center. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

THEN: Students enjoying Dunkin Donuts while they chat on the steps of the Student Center.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

During the spring semester, many events are held at the Student Center Quad as the weather warms up. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: During the spring semester, many events are held at the Student Center Quad as the weather warms up. With events now cancelled, the Quad remains devoid of life.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

While these are unprecedented times, classes will eventually return to campus. The university is preparing for an on-campus experience for the fall 2020 semester, but have plans to move instruction online if unsafe.

Senior justice studies major Nick Brennan (left) and senior business management major Vin Verdiucci (right) sit in the Student Center Quad while Verdiucci plays guitar. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

THEN: A student brings their guitar outside to share music in the Student Center Quad.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

The Student Center Quad is empty as coronavirus has forced course instruction online. Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

NOW: The Student Center Quad is empty as the coronavirus pandemic has forced course instruction online.
Mackenzie Robertson | The Montclarion

Although it is unclear when life will shift back to the normalcy before COVID-19, seniors will still graduate, professors will return to classrooms and students will once again return to campus ready to embrace campus life with their peers.

Join the Conversation