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03-14-21-locust-walk-spring-winter-campus-covid-19-masks-ezra-troy

A Penn student walks down a mostly empty Locust Walk on Mar. 14.

Credit: Ezra Troy

Last April, Daily Pennsylvanian photographers documented what campus looked like in comparison to previous years. Flowers and greenery bloomed to a campus that had been evacuated one month prior. This March, our photographers revisited some of the same spots around campus to see what has changed. Although students returned to campus this January, many common meeting spots and winding walkways remain largely empty — especially given the winter weather. 

While the Penn community continues to learn virtually after one year of the pandemic closing down campus, a return to campus normalcy is in sight as the University plans for in-person instruction this fall and will hold an in-person commencement for the Class of 2021 this May. 

Students can eat and study at the 1920 Commons Starbucks outdoor patio, though now some of the tables are marked off with yellow tape to encourage social distancing.

1920 Commons, Hill House, and Lauder College House dining halls reopened for limited capacity indoor dining on March 8. Many students still opt to take their food to-go with blue reusable bags provided by Penn Dining.

A tent has been set up on Penn Commons to give students a shady spot to study and eat as the weather gets warmer.

Construction on Stuart Weitzman Plaza was completed in Oct. 2020, providing new benches just outside the Stuart Weitzman School of Design for people to relax.

Signs for the Penn Cares initiative line the sides of Locust Walk, reminding community members to wear a mask, social distance, and practice handwashing.

Hey Day, a Penn tradition that celebrates juniors becoming seniors each spring and culminates at College Hall, has been canceled for the second year in a row.

On warm-weather days, students take to High Rise Field to picnic, relax with friends, and exercise. The north side of the field is taken up, however, by the DuBois/Rodin Field COVID-19 testing site tent.

The Perelman Quadrangle steps have continued to sit relatively empty.  

With plans for in-person instruction for the upcoming fall semester, there's promise that the College Green walkways will once again be full of students moving from class to class. 

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