Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Luis A. Vivanco


autoethnography, college experience, biopower, risk, liminality, pandemic


This project examines how undergraduate students and administration at one particular institution, the University of Vermont, experienced, responded to, and understood the social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. As one of the first U.S. colleges to go into lockdown during March 2020, and a primary medical center of the state of Vermont, the University of Vermont played a unique role in the still-unfolding pandemic. This autoethnographic study explored students’ and administrators’ experiences and reflections on how the first three years of Covid-19 affected everyday life, documenting both how these years continue to shape social interactions and power relations on campus, and the shifting expectations about the relationship between students and the university as an institution. The goal of this project was to develop not just an anthropological perspective of Covid-19’s effects on one particular population, but to explore what some of the long-term effects might be on how higher education institutions and students within them manage health risks, student culture, and power relations.