Webbies share constructive feedback regarding study groups on campus

Study+pods+have+been+around+for+a+month+now%3B+since+then%2C+there+has+been+considerable+amounts+of+both+negative+and+positive+feedback+regarding+them.+

George Cardenas

Study pods have been around for a month now; since then, there has been considerable amounts of both negative and positive feedback regarding them.

Beginning on March 1st, Webb’s new study pods were a way to merge an in-person experience with online learning to allow students the benefits many enjoyed last year. Although students have expressed positive first impressions of study pods, there is still room for Webb to improve the general experience for students and teachers alike. 

The school has done a stellar job balancing and ensuring the safety of students and faculty on campus, which is something that deserves to be recognized, especially while balancing a community of online and in-person students. 

Jeffrey Baek (‘23) understands the challenges the school must face and wishes that students were allowed to explore more areas on campus. 

“I think that there are many negative aspects about study groups that mostly stem from the pandemic,” Jeffrey said. “For example, I would love to be in Hooper or eat in the dining hall to get the full Webb experience. However, I understand that this is simply impossible because of all the COVID-19 related problems.” 

Many students, especially those who do not live close to school, have yet to see the newly renovated Hooper in-person, a building once teeming with students enjoying a free block or finishing next period’s homework. 

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can also attest to Jeffrey’s description of the Price Dining Hall, a feature of Webb that the current freshman and incoming freshmen classes will hopefully enjoy next year. 

Julia Tyck (‘23), also a sophomore, has a different perspective on study pods and instead highlights the lack of outside activities available to students on campus. 

“I think Webb could provide more options for activities when we are outside during free time,” Julia said. “Right now, our only options are basically to sit on the grass or play frisbee. Other than that, I think the study groups seems to be running pretty well, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to be back on campus with my friends.” 

Her concerns are understandable given the current situation and limited ability for students to interact with each other. It would be great to see ways in which Webb addresses this dilemma in balancing both interactive activities between students and maintaining social distance guidelines. 

Joseph Vincent, World Languages Department Faculty, expressed considerable gratitude for the return of students on campus through study pods. 

“I have really enjoyed the study groups,” Mr. Vincent said. Campus felt a little lonely when there were only faculty around, so it has been nice to have students on campus as well. There is a lot more energy in the dorms and it is great to have more in-person interaction with other members of the Webb community.” 

Mr. Vincent also detailed a few challenges he faced when getting used to the study pods, which were not limited to Webb’s unpredictable WiFi. 

“While most of my experience has been very positive, there have been some minor challenges,” Mr. Vincent said. “One challenge for me is keeping students six feet apart because I think everybody missed their friends so much that they want to be close to other people, but this is obviously not possible during a pandemic.” 

“It has taken a lot of reminders from teachers to constantly remind students to keep their distance, but I am pleased to say that my group is starting to get better about it,” Mr. Vincent said. Also, there seemed to have been some tech issues when the study groups first started, but it seems like most of those bugs have worked themselves out and students are having less problems getting online.” 

The steps the school has made to combat Zoom fatigue and help students stay active shows the care that Webb puts towards maintaining a healthy and dynamic community, one that spans across the continents.  

The pandemic is slowly, but surely resolving. At the current moment, it is not feasible to allow the freedom students once had in years prior without risking the safety of either students or faculty members. It is imperative that Webb focuses on maintaining safety for students and families on the campus.