PHOTO ESSAY: A Quiet First Day Of School

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Published September 5, 2020
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The Montclarion
The entrance of University Hall, a typically busy location on the first day of classes. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

Typically, the first day of classes at Montclair State University is filled with thousands of students roaming around campus. Whether it’s walking to and from class, hanging in the Student Center Quad or eating in the outside seating area at Au Bon Pain, it’s a lively atmosphere for everyone.

Unfortunately, the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed campus life as we know it. State and university guidelines for COVID-19 have prohibited large gatherings. A once lively campus felt more like a ghost town on the first day of school on Aug. 24.

Now, most students spent their first day of classes at home or in their dorms, while the few students who were able to attend in-person classes didn’t spend too much time on campus afterward.

Those who were on campus, however, did enjoy a beautiful day outside, and some chose to take advantage of this. From students studying outside to professors hosting outdoor classes, everyone made sure to socially distance from one another and wear masks.

With New Jersey still in stage two of Gov. Phil Murphy’s “The Road Back” plan, it appears that campus life may look this way for quite some time.

Contributors: Corey Annan, Emma Caughlan and Michael Giannotti

An outdoor art class taking place next to Dickson Hall on the first day of the fall 2020 semester.Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

An outdoor art class taking place next to Dickson Hall on the first day of the fall 2020 semester.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

Students walk by the student center with food in hand. Corey Annan | The Montclarion

Students walk by the student center with food in hand.
Corey Annan | The Montclarion

Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

After six hours of sitting at her desk,Emma Caughlan moves to her bed to listen to her last lecture of the day.
Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

Emma Caughlan, a sophomore journalism major, begins her first day of classes. Caughlan is planning to complete her fall 2020 semester remotely at her home in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

Emma Caughlan gets ready to eat breakfast with her “roommate” before her classes start for the day.
Emma Caughlan | The Montclarion

A student works on their laptop. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

A student works on their laptop outside of the student center.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

The student center quad, which is normally strewn with students enjoying the nice weather, is barely being used. Corey Annan | The Montclarion

The student center quad, which is normally strewn with students enjoying the nice weather, is barely being used.
Corey Annan | The Montclarion

Despite the heat, students and staff wear face masks on the first day of classes. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

Despite the heat, students and staff wear face masks on the first day of classes.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

The lobby of the School of Communication and Media is typically buzzing with students. Corey Annan | The Montclarion

The lobby of the School of Communication and Media is typically buzzing with students, but is now mostly empty.
Corey Annan | The Montclarion

In the student center, junior psychology major Genesis Garcia and senior Marcell Jenkins wear face coverings behind the partition at the student life service desk on the first day of classes. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

In the student center, junior psychology major Genesis Garcia and senior Marcell Jenkins wear face coverings behind the partition at the student life service desk on the first day of classes.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

A closed entrance to the student center dining hall directs students to food pick-up locations in order to cut back on crowding. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

A closed entrance to the student center dining hall directs studentstofood pick-up locations in order to cut back on crowding.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

University staff wearing face coverings, following the implemented safety protocols. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

University staff wearing face coverings, following the implemented safety protocols.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

The fifth level of Red Hawk Deck nearly empty around noon, where commuters can rarely find open spots at the beginningof a new semester. Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

The fifth level of Red Hawk Deck nearly empty around noon, where commuters can rarely find open spots at the beginning of a new semester.
Michael Giannotti | The Montclarion

 

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