Transferring during a pandemic


Ethan Humble

Sophomore transfer student Jonah Willits eyes down the basket in Hopper gym. This will be his first year on the Simpson men’s basketball team.

by Ethan Humble, Staff Reporter

As Simpson students have been adapting to a new normal on campus, transfer students have a variety of different challenges for adapting to life at Simpson College

Sophomore Jonah Willits transferred to Simpson this Fall and plans on studying criminal justice while playing basketball.

“It was difficult [transferring] to be honest. Coming from a community college in western Kansas, it is a big transition,” he said.

Willits was not able to tour the campus before committing, but he understands it is a weird time for colleges worldwide, not just Simpson.

“Simpson is handling COVID-19 very well. If they were letting us students have free roam, it would be a big cluster,” Willits said.

According to Willits, the worst part about transferring during COVID-19 is the social aspect of college, but Simpson is still making him feel at home.

“It sucks that we do not get to all hang out and connect. Meeting new friends will be an exciting part of the yellow phase,” he said. “Everyone here has been very welcoming to me, though, so I appreciate that very much,”

Junior Anna Wanek transferred into Simpson playing on both Simpson’s tennis and basketball teams.

 Wanek made use of the virtual videos posted online and made a visit to Simpson herself. She also credits Dawn Barnes, director of transfer enrollment, for providing her with many resources to use.

“[Barnes] made my decision to come to Simpson easier. She was a very good resource and gave me a lot of things to look at,” Wanek said,

The health and exercise science major took advantage of several Zoom calls to focus on various pieces of being a student at the Indianola college.

“People would talk about different aspects of studying at Simpson. One was about residential life, another was the academic opportunities,” Wanek said.

Wanek agrees that Simpson is making the right choice in having different precautions in place during the return to campus.

“[Administration] is being strict about COVID, but it has not negatively affected my view of Simpson, although not being able to meet new people is tough,” she said.

Wanek is most excited about the yellow phase to be able to hang out with her teammates and visit each other’s rooms.

“Being an athlete has definitely helped me meet new people. It would be tough if I [were] less involved,” Wanek said.

Sophomore transfer Chloe Peck is planning on majoring in communications or multimedia journalism.

Peck says that the pandemic has not affected her transfer to Simpson too much, as she planned on being a commuter student from the beginning.

“My dad is a professor here on campus, Craig Peck, and I was just really excited to be able to hang out with him more and experience Simpson more with him,” she said.

Peck believes that everyone is doing a good job of enforcing and following the rules but also sees some room to be better.

“The system for cleaning classrooms could use some improvements. We all use the same rag to wipe off the seats,” she said.

Peck also expresses her worries that leadership problems could lead to greater issues down the road.

“I am worried things will continue to get worse as our country’s president and our Iowa governor takes little action to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Peck said. “I like in-person classes, so being all online would not be my first option.”