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Home Coronavirus Notre Dame student shares video of 'new normal' college life

Notre Dame student shares video of ‘new normal’ college life

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A student at the University of Notre Dame has shared a video of the socially-distanced outdoor dining hall on campus to reveal the bleak reality of what life will be like at the school this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

Mary-Kate, who is a senior year at the Catholic university in Notre Dame, Indiana, took to TikTok this past weekend to post footage of the white tent that was erected outside the dinning all for more spacious seating. 

‘My college is going back this semester despite a pandemic — and THIS is what the outdoor dining hall looks like,’ she captioned the footage of the tent, which was filled with nothing but black folding chairs and a few tables that were spaced six-feet apart. 

New reality: Mary-Kate, who is a senior year at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, took to TikTok this past weekend to share footage of the school's new outdoor dining tent

New reality: Mary-Kate, who is a senior year at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, took to TikTok this past weekend to share footage of the school’s new outdoor dining tent

The school appeared to have been in the middle of setting up the outdoor dining accommodations. There were folding chairs lined up on one side of the tent, while the other had tables with just two chairs each.  

The senior explained in a follow-up video that she lives right near campus and was out for a walk when she noticed the tent next to the dining hall. 

Mary-Kate said the setup was to be expected because Notre Dame had emailed enrolled students about the outdoor seating that was created to promote social distancing and better airflow. 

However, she felt the chairs were ‘set up really weird’ and took a TikTok of it, not realizing that the clip would go viral and be viewed nearly 100,000 times in just three days.

Scene: The eerie video shows black folding chairs lined up six-feet apart in the large tent

Scene: The eerie video shows black folding chairs lined up six-feet apart in the large tent

Scene: The eerie video shows black folding chairs lined up six-feet apart in the large tent 

Socially distanced? On the other side of the room, there are large tables with two chairs each

Socially distanced? On the other side of the room, there are large tables with two chairs each 

‘Take your tuition and run,’ one person commented on the clip, while another responded: ‘Thank god I didn’t get into ND.’ 

‘GIRL I live near ND and work in SB and I was SHOOK when your vid came on my fyp (I don’t go there but damn can’t believe they’re doing that oof),’ someone else shared. 

Others compared the dining hall to the dystopia in The Handmaid’s Tale and a scene from the horror film Midsommar. 

Notre Dame will welcome students back to campus for the fall semester the week of August 10 with plans to forgo fall break and end the semester before Thanksgiving. 

According to the school’s website, its five-phase plan to reopen — which is currently in phase three — ‘aligns with local, state, and national guidelines.’

Thoughts: Mary-Kate (pictured) said the setup was to be expected, but she thought the chairs were 'set up really weird'

Thoughts: Mary-Kate (pictured) said the setup was to be expected, but she thought the chairs were 'set up really weird'

Thoughts: Mary-Kate (pictured) said the setup was to be expected, but she thought the chairs were ‘set up really weird’

Is it enough?  Notre Dame (pictured) said its five-phase plan to reopen ¿ which is currently in phase three ¿ 'aligns with local, state, and national guidelines'

Is it enough?  Notre Dame (pictured) said its five-phase plan to reopen — which is currently in phase three — ‘aligns with local, state, and national guidelines’

Over 300 classrooms have been reviewed and changed to implement physical distancing head of the school year, with assigned seats being recommended when possible. 

The room will be disinfected at least twice a day as well as deep cleaned and sanitized each night. Students and facility are required to wear masks in campus buildings and classrooms. 

Notre Dame created a motivational video featuring students and members of the faculty to get incoming students on board with the changes.

‘We all need to do our part. It’s going to be tough at times, but it’s going to be worth it,’ Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins says in the clip, which is titled ‘Here, we share responsibility.’ 

Niele Ivey, the head coach of the women’s basketball team, is wearing a mask as she stresses that students need to wear their masks, wash their hands, practice social distancing, and check their health. 

Goal: Notre Dame created a video to get students on board with the changes. 'It's going to be tough at times, but it's going to be worth it,' President Rev. John I. Jenkins says in the clip

Goal: Notre Dame created a video to get students on board with the changes. ‘It’s going to be tough at times, but it’s going to be worth it,’ President Rev. John I. Jenkins says in the clip

Plan: Over 300 classrooms have been reviewed and changed to implement physical distancing head of the school year, according to the school

Plan: Over 300 classrooms have been reviewed and changed to implement physical distancing head of the school year, according to the school 

‘We are here so you can learn, so please protect yourself and protect others,’ Professor Michelle Whaley says as she straightens up her classroom. 

Ian Book, a student athlete, exudes positivity as he insists: ‘We got this. This is when Notre Dame is at its best — when we face challenges and overcome them.’ 

The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking more than about 1,200 campus reopening plans, and according to its data, 53 per cent of colleges are planning for in-person classes, 11 per cent will continue remote learning, 32 per cent will offer a mix of both, and 1 per cent is still waiting to decide.  

While many colleges are implementing protective measures, experts say that reopening schools in the middle of a pandemic is too dangerous. 

Indiana is one of the many states that has seen a steady rise in coronavirus this summer. As of Tuesday, there have been 58,607 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,825 deaths in the state. 

In St. Joseph County, where Notre Dame is located, there have been 2,535 confirmed cases and 79 deaths. 

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