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Ohio State Classes Begin For Second Pandemic School Year

Welcome booth on Oval, first day of OSU classes, Fall 2021
Scott Good
Students stop by the Ohio Union Activities Board welcome booth on the Oval at Ohio State on August 24, 2021, the first day of autumn classes.

Classes began Tuesday at Ohio State, making this the fourth semester the university has allowed in-person classes during the pandemic.

At a booth on the Oval, members of the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) welcomed students to a new school year.

Casey Petrae, a junior in finance and real estate and the director of spirits and traditions at the OUAB, said he supports the COVID-19 precautions the university has been taking.

"This year has been a little more, I guess I would say, relaxed when it comes to COVID restrictions,” Petrae said. “However, I still think there are quite a bit of restrictions that are in place for the good [of everyone]. I think the mask mandate inside of classrooms is really important.”

The start of classes comes as Ohio State on Tuesday announced it would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated. The FDA gave full approval of the Pfeizer vaccine on Monday.

Business freshman Vik Visurakapalli said the university is handling the pandemic very well, especially with enforcing its requirement that everyone wear a mask indoors, but he doesn't think there should be a vaccine mandate.

“I don’t believe OSU should require people to get vaccinated, but they should definitely push the incentive for people to get vaccinated,” he said.

Dave Isaacs, a spokesperson for OSU's Office of Student Life, said everyone in his office is excited to have the students back on campus.

“We’ve got to be cautious; the pandemic continues,” he said. “But we really think that if everyone pulls together, that we’ll be able to have the kind of semester that we really want.”

The university this summer also announced various other COVID-19 precautions, including requiring students to be tested for the virus before and after arriving on campus for the autumn semester.