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Friday, January 15, 2021

Campus

Year in Review: A look at 2020, its impact on UH as fall comes to close


Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

2020 In Review Graphic | Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

With the semester winding down, it’s time to look back at the rollercoaster of a year that was 2020.

A major change to this semester as a whole that differentiates it from semesters past is the coronavirus pandemic. Students had to find ways to adapt just as the world was.

As a recap of it all, here are some of the highlights, good and bad.

Coronavirus

For safety precautions, UH’s campus followed social distancing protocols in every building, including new rules restricting gatherings in shared spaces and even residence halls.

With the limited amount of students staying on campus during this time, social distancing was made easier in each residence hall, so much so that empty townhouses in Bayou Oaks became the location for those who needed to quarantine on campus.

This year has been one for the numbers. The University has been tracking the number of active cases both on campus and off as the pandemic has progressed.

Many classes, organizations and social hangouts have converted to a virtual platform this year that seems to be ongoing on to the spring semester as well.

Campus

Changes have occurred all over campus as construction finished with The Quad this summer and continues for other buildings at the University. Students were able to move into the newly built Quad this fall.

A loss for this year was the use of Moody Towers Dining Commons. Students with a meal plan had the option to eat at Cougar Woods Dining Commons 24/7.

Cougar Woods Dining Commons changed hours for the fall semester to be 24/7. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar

Cougar Woods Dining Commons changed hours for the fall semester to be 24/7. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar

As the semester progressed, other restaurants available to students closed or became unavailable. This includes the Subway at University Lofts, Taco Cabana, Freshii and McDonald’s in Student Center South.

The plans for the Student Center Satellite were originally to have it filled in, but because of the pandemic, the construction has been delayed, but the inside has remained closed from students.

Sports

It was uncertain if sports would happen as social distancing commenced, but UH allowed for lower capacity at football games this semester.

It took a few tries for UH to hold a football game as last minute cancellations from other schools took place, but the first game ended up being held against Tulane in October.

The basketball season for both men’s and women’s tipped off on Nov. 25, and both started of with wins as the men’s side defeated Lamar in blowout fashion while the women’s team also defeated Oklahoma on the road for its opener.

The men’s team has lived up to its expectations early on in the season and then some, picking up a big win against then-No. 14 Texas Tech, which rocketed them into the AP top 10, and the Cougars were able to climb up to No. 7 in the nation the week after.

As for the women’s side, it too has seen its share of success, getting off to its best start in 10 years.

Like much of the nation, however, neither of these teams have been immune to COVID-19 impacts. Both programs have had a game canceled due to the virus, and the men’s team has had to put its season delayed due to an outbreak within the team.

Weather

This year has also been defined by the surge of hurricanes and tropical storms to hit Houston. Students prepared for Hurricane Laura, only for there to be a much bigger impact to cities in Louisiana than Houston.

Heavy rain came as a result of some of the tropical storms to hit Houston. 

Weather forecasts have predicted that Texans can even look forward to possible snowfall to come this year.

National

2020 was a year of advocating for rights and protests as a surge in the Black Lives Matter movement made waves this summer and continues to be ongoing even now.

After the death of George Floyd, a Third Ward native, rallies emerged all over the country.

A national change that came from this year was the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

Before the election process began and early voting was still at large, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought the need for a new supreme court justice. The current president at the time, Donald Trump, nominated Amy Coney Barrett for the position.

Before the election results were announced, Barrett was confirmed by the Senate.

After Joe Biden’s win in the election, changes have been promised by the Biden administration to come after the transition of power.

2020 as a year has held to be full of surprises across the board, but there is even more to look forward to come next semester and 2021.

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