Recognizing the far-reaching impact the pandemic had on the sophomore class’s first year as Chargers, the University planned a special welcome back to campus to ensure they are charged up to connect with their classmates and that they are able to experience everything the University has to offer throughout the upcoming academic year.
Aug 20, 2021
Jayden Moore ’24 was smiling as she prepared to move into her room in Winchester Hall. She was excited to begin her sophomore year at the University and to get involved in activities she couldn’t take part in last year because of the pandemic.
“I can’t wait to go to football games,” said Moore, a biology major. “I’m also looking forward to larger events outside, and more activities off campus.”
Moore’s parents were helping her move in. They had come to West Haven from Cherry Hill, NJ, and they, too, were excited about the promise the 2021-22 academic year holds for their daughter.
Her father, Mike, expects she will have a full “college experience,” this year, and he is grateful for the COVID-19 precautions that are in place that he believes will safely enable his daughter and her classmates to get the most out of their college experience.
“I hope she can have more in-person classes with full interaction and feedback from her professors and classmates,” he said. “I also hope she has lots of opportunities to socialize.”
‘I’m looking forward to getting involved’
Jayden’s mother, Jeane, said she is concerned about the delta variant, but she is confident her daughter will continue to have meaningful opportunities to learn, connect with her classmates, and experience everything the University has to offer.
“I’m glad more things will open up to her this year,” she said. “I hope there will be more opportunities for students to get involved, meet their classmates, go places together, and have study groups.”
Moore’s classmate, Rich Bessel ’24, was also moving into Winchester Hall. He was excited to be living among the friends he made last year in Bethel Hall.
“Because of the pandemic, it was harder to meet people last year,” said Bessel, a homeland security and emergency management major who hails from New Fairfield, Conn. “There weren’t many in-person events, so it was harder to make friends. I’m looking forward to getting involved and reaching out this year.”
‘More activities and opportunities for student engagement’
Because of the pandemic, the Class of 2024 students did not get to take part last year in many of the annual activities held as part of “Charge In,” which offer students fun and interactive ways to meet their new classmates and learn about the University. After officially welcoming members of the Class of 2024 back to campus for the new academic year, the University offered a variety of activities on campus for them, including crafts and a comedy show.
Special programming specifically for sophomores also included a variety of off-campus activities such as a trip to Boston, Mystic Aquarium, or Brownstone Adventure Sports Park.
Olivia Cruz ’24, a psychology major, was grateful the University offered these activities for returning students. Like so many of her classmates, she is excited to get involved in the University community throughout the upcoming academic year.
“I hope there are more activities and opportunities for student engagement,” said Cruz, who returned to the University from her home in New York. “So far, it looks much more promising this year.”
‘I’m excited to get involved with more clubs and organizations’
Marcella Depina ’24, a music and sound recording major, plans to get involved with WNHU, the University’s award-winning radio station, this year. She’s also looking forward to being an active member of the University community.
“I’m excited to get involved with more clubs and organizations on campus,” said Depina, who moved back to campus from Cape Cod, Mass. “I am excited for the meetings to be held in person and not just on Zoom.”