Students share their perspectives on the first month of school


Credit: Aidan Bell

Sydney Flem, Contributor

As the University transitions deeper into the fall semester, students share their thoughts on the first month back on campus after an eighteen-month long hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several changes have been made on the New York City campus since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. Take a look inside a few student perspectives on these issues, from the plexiglass in Café 101 to the Pace Safe App.


Plexiglass in Café 101

During common hours, students have reported that Café 101 is completely full, at times forcing students to stand shoulder-to-shoulder while waiting in line for their meals. The plexiglass was implemented by Café 101 as a preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the dining hall. However, it is inevitable that students will have to remove their masks to eat which has caused some students to question whether the safety measures will actually be effective in preventing a possible outbreak of the virus.

University freshman Casey O’Gara said, “There’s people sitting right next to you, so if you’re on the same side of the table, the glass doesn’t make any sense.” The plexiglass is meant to serve as a barrier allowing students to eat without masks and not be in direct contact with other students doing the same. However, it is clear that the University has not taken into account the social aspect that accompanies eating in Café 101. O’Gara later continued, “There are huge breaks in the plexiglass, so people are just going to sit in the breaks. People don’t sit behind them, so no, we don’t need the plexiglass.”

Many students feel that the administration’s actions are simply performative and aimed at creating a positive image for the University rather than prioritizing the creation of a safe and comfortable environment for students in the face of such a dangerous pandemic. University sophomore Aislynn Kostandini said, “They’re so close together. There are people next to you and people all around you…regardless of whether it was a real effort from the school, it doesn’t do anything.”

Overall, students seem to feel that the plexiglass in Café 101 is an ineffective COVID-19 precaution taken by the University.


Large Freshman Class 

The current freshman class is one of the largest at Pace University thus far. Students were asked about their feelings towards the extremely populous freshman class of this Fall 2021 semester and the overall consensus concludes that the larger number of students is causing problems within Café 101 due to the high wait times and hectic common hours. University sophomore Will Fleming said, “I heard the freshman class is the biggest it’s been in 20 years, which I think is interesting. I have noticed that when it comes to common hours and students trying to get food in between classes, it’s basically shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Many students expressed concerns that the University has not gone far enough to ensure the safety of the students. University sophomore Aislynn Kostandini once again added, “If they’re accepting this many students, then it must be safe to have that number of students on campus. In that case, Pace should do more than just plexiglass, masks, and the Pace Safe App.” While these issues have led to sizable crowds around campus and within the residential hall elevators, these students are all deserving members of the University student body.


Pace Safe App

The Pace Safe App was designed in an effort to help create a safe and ideally COVID-free environment for the University students, faculty, and staff. Every 24 hours, the app requires you to respond “No” to each COVID-related question within the self-assessment. This is to ensure anyone entering into a campus building has not had any symptoms of COVID or come in contact with someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Pace Safe App















When university sophomore Will Fleming was asked about the Pace Safe App, he stated, “The app seems like it has been ineffective. If I was experiencing one of the symptoms like a headache from staring at my computer screen, and I answered yes to that question, I would be worried that it would affect my chances to get into the building altogether.”

It seemed to be a typical response throughout the student body that the Pace Safe App is overall ineffective. However, this is just one of many measures the University is taking to keep their students safe.