250 students at Gardner-Webb University stay on campus for help

250 students at Gardner-Webb University stay on campus for help

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (WBTV) - With the stay at home order, the internet is being used more than ever. By all of us, if we have it.

But what if you don’t have Wi-Fi?

Gardner-Webb University is doing what most other universities are doing by asking students to leave campus and finish the semester online.

As in-person classes are a thing of the past at least for now, there are 250 students still staying on campus. They have to. They say they don’t have the internet at home.

“It’s not the university’s fault, sometimes they just have to do what they feel is best for the community and that is to send the students home and I completely respect that,” said Bailey Reep, a sophomore at Gardner-Webb who is studying to be an elementary teacher.

Back at home in Cherryville, Reep doesn’t have an internet connection strong enough to carry her through her online meetings for class. That’s why she turned to university officials for help.

“I’m on a very strict course to graduation and I don’t want anything interfering with that,” said Reep who wants to graduate a year early to try and cut down on her student-debt.

Her drive to not fall behind is what inspired those officials to let her and others stay on campus.

In a video she sent WBTV’s Bria Bell, you see her studying all by herself in an empty study area at school. It’s a ghost town. She doesn’t mind though, because she’s no longer stressing about how to keep up with classes.

“For students like me who do not have all the essentials they need to do their course work, it takes a big toll. A lot of people don’t realize until you’re put in a situation. I’m honestly just thankful I didn’t have to get to that point,” she added.

She’s not stressing over groceries either. Her campus meal card is still very much activated.

“The cafeteria and all of its services are still available to us. Every time we go in there, they try to just load us down with food and make sure that we are stocked up,” she explained.

When she’s finished with her assignments for the day, boredom can strike. There’s not much to do on a quiet campus, alone in a dorm room. But she and some of her friends still on-campus are getting creative on how to pass the time.

“We’ve been painting, drawing, honestly we’ve been getting into cooking shows and scary movies,” said Reep.

School is a priority and so is their health. Reep says students are mindful that if they’re not careful, the university could shut down if someone gets sick.

“It’s kind of funny. You’ll start walking and you’ll see people dodging away trying not to go the same path that you’re walking on, we don’t want to have to leave,” Reep said.

Students are required to stay six feet apart. Hand sanitizer is available for them. They are also given masks to wear for when they’re walking around campus and students are asked to tell school officials if they’re feeling sick.

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