Campus ghost people
The ghosts of past students will haunt campus this winter. Image: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A callout by the Fulcrum discovered students are leaning towards returning home

Since the University of Ottawa announced that the winter 2021 semester will be held online, many students have been considering whether or not to return to campus after the holiday break. 

Personally, I would rather spend the semester in Ottawa with my wonderful roommate than in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan in my parent’s house. I’ve moved my life to Ottawa, and even if courses are online, it makes more sense to be near my workplace, my club, and friends. 

I’m not the only one who feels this way. A callout posted on the Fulcrum’s Instagram revealed that “the homies” are the reason some students will return to campus this winter. In the midst of a pandemic, being around friends — safely, and within your bubble of course — has made a huge difference in my mindset. Seeing friends gives me something to look forward to, and can be a nice break from classes or work. 

Some students will be returning to campus for academic reasons like avoiding time differences, or because they don’t have reliable Wi-Fi at home to complete online courses. Others are simply required to be on campus for work or because they’re working on their thesis, or taking courses with an in-person component. 

Although there are a handful of reasons to stay on campus for the winter semester, there are just as many to stay home, and according to the poll, it seems more students are leaning towards being off campus. 

Why? For starters, there is a pandemic, and many students feel safer at home. Some students would even have to fly to Ottawa in order to return to campus, and may not feel comfortable travelling. Some simply don’t feel it’s worth the travel or cost.

The most popular reason might be money. The costs of being on campus can be pretty hefty. Why pay for rent if you don’t have to? Why spend money on groceries when you can stay at home and have your parents do it for you? Remote learning is a great opportunity to save some money. 

Campus was already significantly quieter than usual throughout the fall semester, but it seems that there may be even less action at the U of O in the winter.