COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University is updating its COVID-19 guidance as students and faculty prepare for the Fall Semester.
The school is unable to require masks but they’re now cracking down on rules that if not followed could lead to expulsion.
A new vaccine incentive on campus is intended to encourage students to get their shots. Vaccinated students will be entered in a drawing to receive funding for educational expenses.
“It’s a good step in order to motivate people to get vaccinated,” said Deepak Parkash Kumar, an A&M Mechanical engineering Ph.D. student.
Students and staff will be required to get tested on campus and submit their results by September 10.
Also, eating will not be allowed inside the classroom.
“That is a very good step because at least to ensure that there’s no spread among students because if there is an outbreak among students that’s going to be extremely bad,” added Kumar.
The school is getting rid of remote learning options. If students are sick, they will need to follow protocols that have been established prior to the pandemic.
Deepak-Parkash Kumar is an international student from India.
He says returning to the classroom is the main reason he traveled such a long journey for his studies.
“Having in-person classes is fantastic and I'm really looking forward to it. And that was the main reason why I deferred my admin from fall,” Kumar shared.
For freshmen like Mila Garza, she feels like she gets another shot at her freshman year stepping into the classroom for the first time.
“Yeah, it was hard doing online classes, but it was definitely worth keeping everyone safe,” said Mila Garza, Texas A&M Sophomore.
While some students found remote learning difficult, they understood the purpose but are happy to get that in-person interaction.
“I think there will be a personal connection between the professor and the student which is a particular reason as to why I'm looking forward to having in-person classes,” said Kumar.
The department of state health services says a high percentage of Texans who have recently died from the virus are among the unvaccinated.
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