COVID-19 | WIU international students mixed on university’s response to pandemic

By YOLOTZIN FRANCO, News Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois, (NEWS3) — International students attending Western Illinois University both agree and disagree on how the university is handling COVID-19. 

University administrators decided to open campus for students and classes this fall with health precautions in place, as the pandemic still remained a threat. Many international students had to pack their bags and make their way back to Macomb to continue their classes. 

Several international students believe WIU is doing the best they can handling COVID-19. 

“I think they’re doing a good job,” Irina Widmer, an international student from Switzerland, said. “I don’t think it’s WIU’s fault that cases of COVID-19 are going up”

Bishnu Neupani, an international student from Nepal, said the guidelines that the university implemented to handle COVID-19 are helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. 

Other international students don’t believe WIU is doing enough and think the university should do more. Oyindamola Ruth Olawepo, a student from Nigeria, believes the university isn’t doing enough. She wishes the administration could see what other schools are doing. 

Some have suggested the university improve students’ safety on campus. Akser Mpugulu, an international student studying statistics and decision analytics, spends a lot of time in the Leslie F. Malpass Library. Mpugulu is concerned because she has seen many students not wearing masks after she enters the library.

International graduate student Joyce Ofili agreed.

“If off-campus (students) aren’t taking the precaution, then they are going to bring it back on campus,” Ofili said. 

Each of these international students said they are doing their part by washing their hands, only going out when necessary, and most importantly, they keep social distancing.