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Students return to St. Norbert College

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 1:12 PM CDT
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Students are back at St. Norbert College and getting settled in for a fall semester that gets underway on Monday.

Incoming freshman are preparing for a new kind of normal in their "college experience," which is evident by the one thing Hailey Chada never expected to be part of her college move-in day.

"The mask, yeah, we'll see what happens but I think it'll be fine," says Chada.

Chada is one of 469 freshmen moving into their dorms today at St. Norbert College.

Help from family is more important than ever this year.

“Still plenty of staff welcoming them and pointing them the right direction, but unlike normal years we’re not actually hauling their belongings for them, again that’s a safety measure, I’m not sure if I were a new student that I want somebody I don’t know well carrying my belongings in at this point,” says Julie Massey, St. Norbert College Interim Vice President of Student Affairs.

Despite many changes to the college experience, and the fact students must wear a mask unless they're in their dorm room, St. Norbert President Brian Bruess can sense a gratefulness among students.

"They're really excited to be back in person, and you can just see it in their eyes, the excitement, the anticipation, more so than any other welcoming of new students I've ever seen in 30 years," says Bruess.

For a group of students that had their senior year of high school cut short, there seems to be a resiliency and an eagerness to get back in class.

"She's excited to get the next step of her life going, and I think being in college here is really going to help her," says Steve Chada, Hailey's dad.

"Last year it's been masks, the Covid, going online, but I think we'll all get through it together, finally being able to go and do stuff and get out, and get back to school normally," says Hailey Chada.

St. Norbert College plans to hold in-person classes until Thanksgiving break.

At that point students will go home and take virtual classes through the end of the year, before returning to campus in January.

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