Posted on: August 25, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Marcus Collins

By Nick Stulga, Editor-in-Chief

Students were sitting in the grass reading and relaxing. Long lines of students snaked throughout the bustle in the D building, waiting to pick up textbooks they’d need for the rest of the semester. And many more students were casually walking around campus, even while it was drizzling.

Last week marked the first time since spring 2020 that the Moraine Valley campus has started a new semester with a social atmosphere of welcome chaos. The ghost-town of Moraine Valley past was replaced with students chatting frenetically, the noise in the D building all blurring into an electric excitement and bouncing off the walls. The annual fall event Welcome Days had a huge turnout, with students coming and going all day.

And then there was the guy who ran over the median. Yes, the area where students are supposed to walk to get from the parking lot to the U building.

A student looked back at the car with pure shock. “Did you see that?” he asked. Then moments later: “Thank God no one was walking there.”

Just moments earlier, someone had indeed been walking there. The victim exclaimed, “I was just there! He almost killed me.” The two students started laughing, one going back to his car, the other walking towards the U building for some cafeteria food.

With fuller parking lots, more students on campus, and near-death experiences, fall 2022 is different from the past four semesters. In-person classes have more students than in the spring, according to President Sylvia Jenkins. This has lead to a greater presence of students on campus, bringing life to what once felt like a ghost town.

Photos by Marcus Collins, Photo Editor

“We’re starting to get a sense of normalcy after two years,” said Nema Boye, 30, a liberal arts transfer. “But there is still some difficulty getting close to people.”

She was referring to some people being uncomfortable with the lack of social distancing, which is no longer required at Moraine due to updated COVID guidelines from the CDC.

Yulianna Chavez, a business student, was uncomfortable with something else entirely: going off to college for the first time.

Photo by Nick Stulga
Liberal arts transfer Nema Boye is happy to see campus feeling back to normal.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” said Chavez, one of many new students on campus. “I was kind of scared to go to college and figure out where everything was, but once I got here it was easy.”

MV sophomore softball player Emily Manso has taken notice of the number of new faces on campus.

“I think it’s a little more crowded, more people,” Manso said. “Besides that, it kind of feels the same, honestly.”

She sees students just keeping to themselves. “That’s how I am too, I guess.”

While Manso is out playing catch with softballs in her free time at Moraine, another student is seeking to catch something a bit different: murderers.

Jamari Pittman, 18, is pursuing a degree in criminal justice. “I’m not doing any clubs or sports,” Pittman said. “Right now, I’m just going to school. I want to be a homicide detective.” 

On top of learning the justice system, the detective-in-training is also trying to make new friends on campus.

“I still gotta adjust to certain things,” Pittman said. “I also gotta get into the habit of trying to meet new people. I only talk to people I already know. If I don’t talk to nobody else there’s nobody else.”

Alonzo Newsome, one of Pittman’s friends, says being on a college campus is not like high school. “They got different things, a food court, the library, places just to chill. I just really like that.”

Welcome Days a ‘smashing success’

The annual fall semester back-to-school event, Welcome Days, was a smashing success. At least, dean of students and compliance officer Kent Marshall, who helped run the event, thought so. The event was organized by Student Life, which governs the clubs at Moraine Valley. 

The main feature of the event was a tie-dye shirt station. Students could create their own Student-Life-themed T-shirt, tie-dye style. Last year, instructions were given on how to do so, but this year none were, which just added to the chaotic fun.

The event also included a fun little showcase where you could send your First Day of School pictures to Student Life online and win a color-changing cup. Massive versions of Connect 4 and Jenga were also available to play. Jimena Ramirez and Miguel Gonzalez played Jenga, but stopped before the tiles came crashing down because they didn’t want to deal with the mess.

Video by Marcus Collins, Photo Editor; Edited by Aidan McGuire, Multimedia Editor

They then played Connect 4, where Gonzalez bested Ramirez in a game. They are both pursuing an education at Moraine to become gym teachers.

Student Life also set up a volleyball net that fell over multiple times, causing Marshall to come to its rescue. Eventually he gave up trying.

During the event, a student ran over to the mic and put his hands near it to make a loud buzzing sound. Marshall came striding towards the students, planting himself right by the mic. A couple minutes later, the students must have given up, walking away defeated, apparently having forgotten Marshall’s job title. In the end, the students had no choice but to comply with the compliance officer, and the bit of chaos was quelled.

Marshall 1. Pesky students 0.