ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Students, staff and political officials gathered at Marymount University to discuss how COVID-19 has affected higher education, and how the school plans to move forward as the pandemic continues.
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was in attendance for the round table discussion on Wednesday, speaking with students and faculty about their educational experience during the pandemic.
“We managed to go through the fall of 2020 with only 2% positive COVID, and all our athletes played,” said Irma Becerra, president of Marymount University.
Becerra explained how the school plans to continue to mitigate cases as school begins for the fall.
“Marymount has fully returned to in-person, requiring vaccinations for all faculty, staff and students,” said Becerra. “We will also be wearing masks while we are indoors.”
Students say they are happy to follow the guidelines if it means returning to campus.
“Meeting people, seeing people I have never seen before, I definitely have made more friends this year. I can focus better without any distractions,” said student Samuel Lopez.
Marymount continues to offer mental health resources to cope with the effects of the pandemic
“Marymount’s counseling services have initiated a resilience campaign to help us all emerge and grow out of these difficult times,” said Laura Finkelstein, assistant vice president, Student Health & Well-Being.
The school is also continuing to encourage students to get vaccinated.
“Our motto, which you can see on our social media, is “Let’s Get ‘Vacc Together,” so we know that if we all get vaccinated, we can be together again,” said Finkelstein.
Marymount University currently has a 96% vaccination rate with free, weekly COVID-19 testing for the small percentage of students who are exempt from receiving the vaccine.