A student walks through the Fuller Arch to the main quad at Trinity College in Hartford.

Now that August is here, and reopening plans for colleges and universities seem less abstract, the reality is starting to really set in about what campuses will actually be like in the fall. Restrictions on social contact are to be expected – one of the big draws for many students living on, or near, campus. This week on “Steady Habits,” we find out how college students feel about reopening, and – with some help from a UConn Psychologist – a prediction for how the semester will ultimately unfold.

In the CT Mirror’s “Viewpoints” section today, in the latest installment of the “Millennial Pulse” series, our Steady Habits producer Jessica Freedman asks, “Will Social Distancing on Campuses Become the New Peer Pressure?” She writes about schools’ plans for “family pods” – a kind of predetermined social circle for each student, as a way to cut down on close contact.

Neither Jess, nor the students she talked to, are so sure this plan will work.  This episode, we hear from students, and from Bede Agocha, an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychology and Africana Studies at UConn. He has extensively researched the psychosocial mechanisms of health & risk behavior and decision-making. We wanted to know how – with what we know about student behavior – colleges should be thinking about getting students back together on campus this fall. 

John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.