One year later: How the world, and NSU, has changed


Ali Robachaux is handed a goodie bag by Alaina Parham on the first day of school last fall. NSU went virtual last March.


Christian Bell 


It seems like only yesterday students were attending Northwestern State University game days and walking across campus to greet their friends without a mask.  

This time last year, Demons were preparing for spring break when the NSU community received an email that would alter what normalcy meant for life on campus.  

On March 13, 2020, University President Dr. Chris Maggio cancelled all in-person university activities. 

“As announced Friday in response to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern State University suspended all in-person classes effective at the end of the day Friday, March 13,” Maggio said. “Currently, we are transitioning to online instruction and other remote learning alternatives set to begin on Thursday 19. We will continue to monitor the severity of the pandemic and follow advice of state and federal public officials to determine if-and- when face-to-face classes can resume this semester.” 

Students and staff remained virtual and vigilant from March to May while working with the new rules and regulations being enforced around the country.  

Although everyone’s day looked different during the early stages of the pandemic, for NSU students a day may have been getting up early in the morning to try and stay in contact with professors and stay on track with assignments, running to the grocery store before the newly enacted curfew, trying to make sure families and friends were okay and avoiding any in-person interactions. 

Kierston Jackson, senior physical therapist major, elaborated on her experience during lockdown. 

“Way before students was sent home, I heard about COVID-19 effecting China and I knew that Mardi Gras would be the turning point,” Jackson said. 

Jackson also spoke on her experience with face-to-face classes moving into a virtual format. 

“My professors kept the class structures the same during the transition making it less chaotic as possible,” Jackson said. 

Jackson is a personal trainer at the NSU’s Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center and aspires to become a gym owner. 

Jackson discussed how she had to find a new way to pursue these goals. 

“I wanted to make the most out of my time in the house during quarantine by bettering myself and created my own online fitness bootcamp,” Jackson said. 

After returning in fall of 2020, the empty parking lots showed how high a percentage of NSU students declined to return to campus.  

The NSU community that did come back have been praised by university officials for coming together to uphold the COVID-19 guidelines and keep NSU safe.