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Beavers return to campus for a year with no restrictions

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Oregon State University students milled about campus on a cloudy Wednesday morning, Sept. 21, for the first day of school. It’s the first fully in-person school year since 2019 with no COVID-19 restrictions in place, a fact third-year Sarah Baker is excited about.

“The vibes are super good on campus,” she said. “There’s a lot of energy, and it’s easier to learn when there are more people in class.”

Her only college experience so far has been fully or partly online, which Baker said has made it difficult to connect with peers and learn the material. With only two years left in her undergraduate degree, she said she is glad to have at least some of the true college experience. 

Oregon State University President Jayathi Y. Murthy speaks about her vision for the future of the university.

Baker is entering her junior year in the biohealth sciences major, and while she’s excited to begin the school year, she said she’s nervous about classes getting harder. Over the summer she utilized the OSU Craft Center to make ceramics projects, and she plans to attend the OSU home game this Saturday against USC.

While some students booked it to class, others stopped to catch up with friends and chat with people at tables advertising programs, fraternities and sororities. Beavers shopped for posters, tapestries and records at the Memorial Union to spruce up dorm rooms and apartments. 

Wednesday was also new President Jayathi Y. Murthy’s first day of school at OSU. She officially began her role as president Sept. 9 and has been meeting students and faculty since arriving in Corvallis earlier this month. 

"You guys have some great pizza here," she said in an interview with Mid-Valley Media. "The Indian food is also excellent."

Food aside, Murthy said she plans to spend her first few weeks at OSU forming connections with the community and learning the lay of the land.

Sewell Hatcher is an enology and viticulture major entering his third year. In layman's terms, he’s studying to be a winemaker like his father, who owns Hatcher Winery in California.

After a fun summer white water rafting in the Grand Canyon with his family, he said he's glad to return to the comfortable routine school provides.

“The pressure is back on to do well in school, but that also means I’m taking better care of myself,” he said.

Joanna Mann (she/her) covers education for Mid-Valley Media. She can be contacted at 541-812-6076 or Joanna.Mann@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @joanna_mann_. 

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