George S. Eccles Student Life Center’s COVID-19 regulations and trends
I developed my story after my first idea, centered around Utah sports and preventing the coronavirus, fell through. I still wanted to talk about the virus because there is so much information regarding that subject and it also has played such a big part of our lives the last two years. I decided to shift my focus from Utah sports to the Student Life Center on campus because it is such a nice gym that so many Utahns use.
I located sources by walking around the gym finding people who didn’t mind stepping away from their workout for a few minutes to be interviewed. I also tried to interview people from different facilities in the Student Life Center. I talked to one person lifting weights, one person playing court sports and one person climbing the rock wall.
I deemed my sources the best to fit my topic because I didn’t want to focus on just the coronavirus regulations in place but also what the gym environment is like with the regulations. All the COVID-19 safety information and advice about the Student Life Center is available online for anyone to read. That is why I decided to talk to students rather than some sort of official position at the gym.
I would say that my biggest obstacle happened when I was forced to switch stories. The Student Life Center story wasn’t easy, but it was straightforward. Considering my story was centered around COVID protocols and trends, I wouldn’t say the pandemic negatively affected my story in any way. In fact, my story wouldn’t exist without the pandemic.
After all my interviews took place, I organized all the information by person from most important to least important. I followed this structure later to decide what parts would make it into my full story. The writing process went smoothly. Organizing all the content beforehand made writing more like putting a puzzle together rather than starting from scratch.
I tried talking to a gym official about the coronavirus regulations and trends, but it didn’t go as planned. At one point, I was questioning my choice of sources so I made a second effort to interview a gym official. The person I got in contact with just told me all the regulations that I could’ve read online, and they wouldn’t speak on any trends that they saw in the gym regarding COVID safety.
The biggest surprise to me was the extremely low mask use percentage even though the CDC recommended mask use by vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals due to the period of high transmission rates. I was also surprised that one of the interviewees admitted to feeling discouraged to wear a mask due to others not wearing a mask around them.
I would say that I am happier with my story now than I was while drafting it. Despite all the road bumps that occurred and the concerns I had, I’m happy that I could pull all the content together to make the informational article that resulted from my writing process.
I am a 19-year-old Communication major with a journalism focus at the University of Utah. I was born in Anaheim, California, but have lived in Seattle almost my entire life. I aspire to be a sports journalist or sports analyst once I graduate from the U. I love basketball, the great outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. My biggest goal is to be in a position to give back to my family and my community.