Living in the Honors College during COVID-19

The Honors College at Kent State is the Stopher and Johnson Honors Complex, also known as StoJo.

Morgan Cummings Reporter

Kent State provides unique living experiences for students through the Living-Learning Communities (LLCs), including the Honors College. Just like the rest of the dorms, COVID-19 has impacted students’ experiences of living in the Honors College LLC. 

“The main difference between my time in the Honors College is the effect the pandemic has had on daily life,” says Anna Spagnola, a sophomore double majoring in digital media production and French. 

Spagnola has lived in the Honors College for the past two years, giving her time to experience life in the Honors College before the pandemic. “There are a lot fewer people in the dorms. I was used to living with two other roommates, so it was a big surprise to only have one roommate,” Spagnola said. 

Besides the lower number of residents, other changes were apparent in the Honors College dorms, including the restricted access to the Honors College Library and the available classrooms. 

Although the full experience of living in the Honors College dorms was limited, the new freshmen, who did not get to experience living there before the pandemic, made the best out of the situation. 

“I enjoyed my time in the Honors College. It was nice having a little bit more space and my [private] bathroom, especially in a pandemic,” said Jamie Byrd, a freshman fashion merchandising major. 

Looking past the effects of the pandemic, Byrd was able to enjoy the other benefits of living in the Honors College, including its proximity to the DI Hub dining hall, Starbucks, the fashion building and her classmates. 

“It was nice to live close to some of my honors colloquium classmates as well,” Byrd said. “We never really got the opportunity to meet up, but it was nice to know they were close by if I had a question about anything.”

However, Byrd has also experienced the same negative experiences as Spagnola.

“It was really hard to meet new people. The halls were never busy and most rooms by me were empty,” Byrd said. “All of the hall events that I was able to attend were virtual, which is hard to sit through after attending virtual classes all day.”

Byrd will not be living in the Honors College next year. She will be living in an apartment closer to the fashion building. Spagnola, however, plans to live in the Honors College for her third year as a first-year RA in Stopher Hall. 

Both Spagnola and Byrd believe the same restrictions made during the past school year will be effective during this upcoming school year; however, with the increase in students in the dorms, they believe the experience in the Honors College LLC will be a lot more fun.

Morgan Cummings is a housing reporter. Contact her at [email protected].